Pebble raises 100X more than expected in record time

Krystal Peak · May 10, 2012 · Short URL:

The new smartwatch company on Kickstarter has sold out of the 85K devices ready for early purchase


It looks like the hot-ticket item of the moment is the Pebble smart watch. With eight days left in its Kickstarter countdown, Pebble has already hit its 85,000 watch first batch threshold and raised $10.1 million so far.

The Pebble is a Bluetooth 4.0-enabled wristwatch that works with iPhone and Android smartphones to show app updates and other data its square screen.

The smart watch creators have broken records at Kickstarter, the crowdfunding website where people pledges money to projects in the works.

The elegant and simple design seems to have struck a cord with the public and is likely to get more startups to look long and hard at Kickstarter as a viable way to build capital and buzz about consumer products.

On Kickstarter, startups create a short video and description of the project are building. Its a very diverse site with everything from pop art to novels and journalism investigations.  Creators can offer demos of their service or show protoypes to entice the public to invest.

Kickstarter sets up several funding levels – with perks such as a free product or reduced price specials for those that invest a little cash.

Funding levels can range from just $1 to several thousand and all go toward the funding goal a person sets -- and if that goal isn't hit then no money is charged to those that were willing to fork over the funds.

Kickstarter has so far raised more than $200 million for roughly 20,000 projects.

Pebble now the most popular Kickstarter project, more than tripling the money that Double Fine raised for a new video game earlier this year -- especially since, initially, Pebble expected to raise $100,000 in funding.

“We’ve thought a lot about this decision, and we feel it’s time,” the Pebble team wrote. “You, our backers, were the first group of people to believe in Pebble, and we want to return our focus to creating the most awesome watch possible for you.”

People who pledged to the Pebble Kickstarter up to this point paid between $99 to $125 for a watch, whereas the device will retail for $150 after it becomes widely available.

Pebble has already partnered with Runkeeper to create a first official Pebble app.

Even though other companies have attempted to create a smartwatch, it looks like the early adopter price of around $100, matched with the app capabilities and style could resonate with the tech savvy consumers.


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