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Pebble facing big layoffs, still has big plans for the future (Updated)

by Jacob Kleinman | March 23, 2016March 23, 2016 4:40 pm PST

Last year Pebble launched what seemed like another blockbuster smartwatch, racking up over $20 million in crowd-funding for the Pebble Time. A little over a year later the company appears to be struggling, and says it’s shedding 25 percent of its staff to stay afloat.

Pebble CEO Eric Migicovsky told TechInsider that he needs to fire 40 employees this week. He also revealed that the smartwatch maker raised an additional $26 million in the past eight months. “We got this money, but money [among VCs in Silicon Valley] is pretty tight these days,” he said.

Migicovsky blames a chilly fundraising climate in Silicon Valley, suggesting that investors aren’t as excited about wearable technology as they once were. Pebble still has big plans for the future, but to even get there the company will need to cautiously consider every step along the way.

“We want to be careful,” Migicovsky said. “Pebble is in this for the long haul. We have a vision where wearables will take us in five to 10 years, and this is setting us up for success.”

In the short term, the company plans to refocus on health and fitness, which seems to be the key feature drawing most customers in at the moment. Migicovsky doesn’t mention any specific upcoming products, but hopefully Pebble can come up something fresh and exciting before it’s too late.

Update: This article was updated after one of Pebble CEO Eric Migicovsky’s quotations was revised by TechInsider.


Jacob Kleinman

Jacob Kleinman has been working as a journalist online and in print since he arrived at Wesleyan University in 2007. After graduating, he took a...