Fitness wearable maker Fitbit is looking to acquire Pebble, the brand recognized for popularizing smartwatches, reports The Information. The financial details of this transaction are still under wraps but the publication states that it is a “small amount,” which might sound unlikely for a widely popular brand like Pebble. But it isn’t. The timeline for the deal also hasn’t been disclosed.
Post acquisition, Fitbit will ultimately take over Pebble’s intellectual property, such as its hardware patents and software services. Then the fitness company plans to shutter the prominent smartwatch brand and merge the same with its own operations.
Citing sources aware of the development, TechCrunch mentions that Fitbit is readying itself to shell out about $34 to $40 million for this acquisition deal. This amount, it says, might only be enough for the company to pay off debts to its suppliers and complete the transaction.
With smartwatches and wearable devices becoming ubiquitous over the past couple years, the zeal of owning a Pebble watch and its popularity has tanked rapidly. Though the company has been debuting new products and achieving its Kickstarter goals, Pebble’s struck with financial trouble for the past couple years. It has mostly been picking up fresh funds via its crowd-funding campaigns but has also received over a $15 million investment sometime back in 2015.
It had the option to escape the crunch when watch maker Citizen had offered to pick up the smartwatch maker for a whopping $750 million in 2015. Pebble, however, rejected the said offer and decided to continue the journey by itself. The company had to resort to 25 percent workforce reduction in an attempt to save itself from the cash crunch, back in March this year.
This offer was followed by a less affectionate $70 million deal from American chipmaker Intel but CEO Eric Migicovsky also didn’t accept this offer. Pebble continued operations and launched the newest Pebble 2 smartwatches with a new and improved software in the following days. It also debuted its first non-watch product in the form of the ‘Core.’ It recently also added Amazon Alexa’s virtual assistant capabilities to make its smartwatch offerings more attractive.
We’ve contacted Fitbit and Pebble for more information on the said acquisition deal and will update you once we receive a reply.