The crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter for Pebble’s new smartwatch has officially closed. Pebble Time now stands as the most funded campaign ever on Kickstarter. Pebble raised a total of $20,338,986 from 78,471 backers. Pebble easily topped the previous record holder, Coolest Cooler, a product that is now at a respectable 2nd place sandwiched in between the first Pebble Campaign that raised over $10 million in 2012.
The Pebble Time campaign benefitted by previous experience and professional campaign structure. New perks released during the campaign were announced at strategic points to incentives backers to promote the campaign and encourage new ones to back the watch. Pebble is the most popular smartwatch today but competition is increasing with the Apple Watch being released next month. Recently Google announced that it was teaming up with Tag Heur and Intel to create its Android based product. Previous Smartwatch entries from Samsung have not fared well in the market. Olio, a startup watch company, has pointed its platform towards the high end of the market.
The entry of Apple into the smartwatch, wearable tech space may be a positive catalyst for Pebble. Creator Eric Migicovsky has gone out of his way to different the Pebble Time from the Apple Watch. Pebble Time beats Apple on price, battery life, durability and other areas. Apple will of course benefit from its existing user base within its comprehensive eco-system. The smartwatch market is predicted to be large enough for multiple players.
Pebble’s move to use Kickstarter to pre-sell its forthcoming watch was an interesting tactic. Pebble could have easily sold their watches on their own platform and with existing investor funding, the Kickstarter campaign was not really about capturing funds. Kickstarter was a promotional vehicle for Pebble. It was a broadcast tool and media bate to generate and manage consumer interest. It now stands as a Kickstarter record.
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