Fitbit to acquire Pebble for $40 million

Smartwatch-maker Pebble is reportedly being acquired by Fitbit for $40 million - just a year after it turned down a $750-million offer from Citizen. Whoops

Pebble

According to tech research site TheInformation.com (paywall), fitness wearable maker Fitbit is about to acquire smartwatch brand Pebble. The price of this deal is estimated to be around $40 million (Dh147 million).

Thanks to a horde of financial issues that were plaguing the watchmaker, a buyout was inevitable. If the deal goes through, Fitbit will receive all of Pebble’s intellectual property and wearable expertise. This could most definitely help the wearable giant further expand its product lines.

Pebble 2 watches.
Pebble 2 HR devices. The brand exploded onto the wearable scene a few years ago thanks to a simple OS and compatibility with both Android and iOS. However, it’s fallen upon hard times of late

As a smartwatch maker, Pebble was one of the first to launch, beating Apple by two years. Its Kickstarter campaigns broke records to raise more than $40 million, but that doesn’t seem to have helped the company stay afloat over the past few years. Earlier this year, it launched its third Kickstarter, the Pebble 2 and Pebble Time 2. The campaign was successfully funded but it didn’t change the inevitable fall from grace the company was facing.

It should be noted that Fitbit was not the first to the table when Pebble was up for grabs. There were to more potential acquirers, Intel and Citizen. Citizen was ready to offer $750 million but was rejected in 2015, as Pebble was not ready to sell then. Intel offered $70 million this year, but was rebuffed as well, because it was believed sales of the new Pebbles would help rejuvenate the company. Hence, it isn’t surprising that the current price tag of only $40 million is the best offer Fitbit made considering the opportunities Pebble missed.

As mentioned earlier, the acquisition by Fitbit could drastically help expand and diversify its wearable line. Even though it do have a smartwatch, the Blaze, a few more models in the Fitbit ecosystem wouldn’t hurt. The biggest gain for the company would be Pebble’s operating system, which would enable the fitness tracker manufacturer to create a host of new products with it.