Fitbit buys Pebble. RIP Pebble.


Fitbit has bought kickstarter darling and rival smartwatch maker Pebble, in a deal worth around $40 million, it has been announced.

However, the deal means that Fitbit will close down production of Pebble devices.

The manufacturer also announced that production of the upcoming Time 2, Core and Time Round products were being postponed. As these were being funded by the crowd-funding on Kickstarter all those involved would be refunded.

Fitbit are still the market leader in the wearable market with Pebble initially coming to prominence in 2012 thanks to a crowd-funding campaign that raised $10 million.

Fitbit will be hoping the acquisition will help boost their own range of smartwatches.

Pebble said many of its “team and resources” were joining Fitbit as a result of the deal.

“Pebble’s expertise, philosophy, and culture will live on at Fitbit,” a company statement read.

“Much of our team and resources will join Fitbit to deliver new ‘moments of awesome’ in future Fitbit products, developer tools, and experiences.

“As our transition progresses, we’ll have exciting new stories to tell and milestones to celebrate.”

This is probably good news for Pebble after earlier in the year the company was forced to slash 25% of its workforce as CEO Eric Migicovsky claimed that money was “pretty tight these days”.

It is expected that Mr Migicovsky will not join Fitbit when the move is completed.

Fitbit co-founder James Park said: “With basic wearables getting smarter and smartwatches adding health and fitness capabilities, we see an opportunity to build on our strengths and extend our leadership position in the wearables category.

“With this acquisition, we’re well positioned to accelerate the expansion of our platform and ecosystem to make Fitbit a vital part of daily life for a wider set of consumers, as well as build the tools healthcare providers, insurers and employers need to more meaningfully integrate wearable technology into preventative and chronic care.”

Bloomberg reports the deal is worth $40 million, which if true is just a fraction of the price of previous acquisition attempts.

According to TechCrunch, Japanese watch maker Citizen nearly bought Pebble for $740 million in 2015.


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