Pebble, the pioneering smartwatch maker, has laid off 40 people — a quarter of its staff — as CEO Eric Migocovsky blames a tough funding environment.
Migicovsky told Tech Insider that his company would focus on the health and fitness features of his company’s watches, as those are the features most in demand. Pebble’s watches have had fitness-tracking features only relatively recently; their core functionality had been more as notification devices and second screens for smartphones.
The company had raised $26 million over the last eight months in addition to last year’s $20 million Kickstarter round for the Pebble Time. But Migicovsky said funders’ ardor had cooled across the industry of late — a sentiment confirmed by several down funding rounds and markdowns of technology portfolios by institutional investors.
“We want to be careful,” Migicovsky told Tech Insider. “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.”