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Smartwatch Maker Pebble Lays Off Quarter of Staff CEO says the layoffs are required due to 'a chilly fundraising environment' in Silicon Valley.

By Jason Cipriani

This story originally appeared on Fortune Magazine

Pebble

Pebble, the company that helped usher in the smartwatch era, is tightening spending through a round of layoffs.

On Wednesday, Pebble CEO Eric Migicovsky told Tech Insider that 40 employees, equating to roughly 25 percent of his company's workforce, would be let go this week.

According to Migicovsky, the layoffs are required due to "a chilly fundraising environment" in Silicon Valley.

Pebble originally saw success with its first smartwatch on Kickstarter, where the company's campaign raised over $10 million in 2012.

The firm later raised another $20 million via its second Kickstarter campaign for its current crop of Pebble Time smartwatches.

In addition to its Kickstarter success, Migicovsky told Tech Insider that Pebble raised another $26 million over the last eight months.

By letting employees go when raising money is getting tougher, the company can focus on its future. Migicovsky says his company has a vision for "where wearables will take us" over the next five to 10 years.

Earlier this month, Pebble dropped the price of its Pebble Time and Time Round smartwatches by $50. The price drop rounds out Pebble's product offering, which ranges from $100 to $250, depending on the model.

In December, the company added fitness tracking capabilities to its Pebble Time lineup of watches. Through a health app, the watch gained the ability to count steps and track sleep.

According to Migicovsky, Pebble's focus going forward will continue to be development of health and fitness features as well as an expansion to India through a partnership with Amazon.

Jason Cipriani is a contributor to Fortune and writes "Logged In," a weekly personal technology column.

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