Reports started surfacing late last night that smartwatch and crowdfunding pioneer Pebble is about to sell out to Fitbit for a comparatively small payday.
TechCrunch, citing a post on the big-ticket site The Information, says Fitbit will pay something less than $40 million for Pebble. Our previous coverage of Pebble would indicate that that price would pretty much cover the company’s debt.
Pebble was a very early entrant in the smartwatch business, famously crowdfunding its products and coincidentally helping to legitimize the crowdfunding industry. Pebble was the first watch to accept apps and third-party watch faces, but its limited functionality and geeky design were long overtaken by Fitbit, Apple, Garmin, and Samsung at the high end and many Chinese companies at the low end. Its watches emphasized notification functionality, adding heart rate monitors only this year.
TechCrunch reported this morning that Pebble once rejected a $740 million purchase offer from Citizen, and a later one of $70 million from Intel.
No comments from Fitbit or Pebble.