Retail

Pebble Slashes 25 Percent Of Staff

The smartwatch market has taken another hit — adding to the belief that consumers may just not be all that into the concept.

Pebble, a startup known for being somewhat of a pioneer in the market, said it is planning on laying off roughly 25 percent of its staff. That’s roughly 40 employees, according to Tech Insider.

This news comes on the heels of reports that the company has raised roughly $26 million in the last eight months, along with a $20 million Kickstarter fund. But the reason for the layoffs? CEO Eric Migicovsky said that the Silicon Valley funding chill has had a ripple effect on startups like Pebble.

“We’ve definitely been careful this year as we plan our products,” Migicovsky told Tech Insider. “We got this money, but money [among VCs in Silicon Valley] is pretty tight these days.”

As for what’s next, he said the company will continue focusing on what’s been trending, which is fitness wearables. Pebble also has some plans in the books to go to India via an Amazon partnership. But Pebble isn’t the only one in the market that’s having these issues.

Fitbit has also taken a hit and has watched its stock drop for months. And even Apple has faced the harsh reality that consumers aren’t so hot about the Apple Watch and has recently slashed its prices of the watch below $300. Pebble’s watches sell for $100–$250.

Despite layoffs, Migicovsky said the company isn’t going anywhere.

“We want to be careful,” he commented. “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.”

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