Pebble is the latest wearable technology company to cut back.
The company let go 40 employees, or a quarter of its staff, according to a spokeswoman.
Wearables, which have been among the most buzzed-about sectors of the tech industry, have had a rough go at it since late last year. Two of the category’s leaders, Jawbone and Fitbit, have also faced challenges. Jawbone laid off about 15 percent of its staff in November and Fitbit, which went public in June, has seen its stock fall 72 percent from its high. Even the prices of Apple Watches were slashed by as much as $100 by leading retailers earlier this year, signaling that wearables might not be the holy grail for either fashion or technology.
Pebble, which has raised over $45 million since 2012, introduced its most fashion-forward offering in September, the Pebble Time.
“It’s the first smartwatch that looks like a classic wristwatch and furthers our mission to create useful technology that blends into your everyday life,” Pebble chief executive officer and cofounder Eric Migicovsky said in September. “We recognize that wearable technology can’t be one-size-fits-all and are fiercely committed to offering unique choices that suit individual style and expression.”
But according to reports, Pebble will continue to focus on health and fitness and not fashion going forward, as evidenced by the most recent product release.
In December, the company rolled out Pebble Health, a built-in health tracker for the brand’s Time grouping, which includes Pebble Time, Pebble Time Steel and Pebble Time Round. The technology monitors sleep and counts steps, and since its launch, more than 90 percent of Pebble Time watches have installed the health module, with nearly two-thirds of its users turning to it weekly.