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The company has seen such high demand for its UP wristband that it's having trouble keeping up
Jawbone is doing super crazy awesome, it seems. How super crazy awesome, you ask? So crazy ridiculously awesome that the $226 million it has raised to date just isn’t going to cut it anymore, and the company has quietly raised $93 million in debt financing, and possibly another $20 million in equity.
The first $43 million of Jawbone’s debt funding came from Silver Lake Partners and Fortress Investment Group, while the remaining $50 million was an asset-based loan provided by JP Morgan and Wells Fargo. The $20 million in equity funding (which Jawbone has not confirmed) reportedly came from existing investors.
Jawbone has raised $226 million altogether from Andreessen Horowitz, Khosla Ventures, Kleiner Perkins, Sequoia Capital, SV Angel, and Deutsche Telecom.
CEO Hosain Rahman explained to Fortune that Jawbone has experienced a deluge of orders for the company’s fitness tracker, UP—so many, in fact, that it’s finding itself unable to keep up.
“It’s been faster than anything we’d had before, and equity is not the most efficient way to scale all that,” he said. “If you're a software company with high demand, you just call Amazon and add more servers to your AWS account. But when you build a physical good, there is a lot more that goes into it – ordering materials, manufacturing, delivery… Debt is the most efficient way to finance that."
There’s no word on whether the entire debt round will be put toward the UP health tracker or if Jawbone is seeing similar demand across its other devices. You might not know this (as I seriously didn’t for the longest time), but Jawbone makes other things. Like a wireless speaker thing. And some headset things.
(Actually, like most people, I heard about the Jawbone headsets first and then I heard about the UP wristband and thought there was no way that could’ve come from the same company, so I just assumed there was another company called Jawbone. For the longest time I thought this.)
Just this month, Jawbone released a brand new Mini Jambox Bluetooth speaker that’s tiny and adorable. But it’s not a wearable so blah blah blah zzzzzzzzzzzz.
Jawbone has attracted a lot of big name investors and directors. Marissa Mayer joined the board earlier this year and promptly handed out more than 11,000 UP wristbands to Yahoo employees.
The company has also made two acquisitions this year: BodyMedia in May for $100 million, and Massive Health in February for an undisclosed amount.
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