PALO ALTO, CA--(Marketwired - May 16, 2013) - Pebble, maker of the e-paper smart watch that connects to iPhone and Android smartphones, today announced it has received $15M in Series A funding from Charles River Ventures. The funding will be used to grow the software engineering team, expand Pebble's open development platform and scale to meet customer demand.
Pebble is a highly customizable device, enabling users to download watchapps ranging from creative watchfaces to activity tracker apps. Pebble's open approach to development is core to supporting a vast selection of apps that meet the unique needs and interests of users -- or even enabling users to create something themselves. Pebble's record-breaking launch on crowd funding site, Kickstarter, confirmed interest in this concept with over 68,000 backers pledging over $10M to make Pebble a reality.
"The tremendous response we received from Kickstarter backers validated our belief in the value of a smart watch as a wearable computer, but also in the value an open platform brings to truly personalizing the watch to their daily activities," said Eric Migicovsky, Pebble's founder. "This new investment will help us build out the Pebble development ecosystem and deliver on Pebble's extraordinary potential."
Pebble released the first stage of its open software development kit (SDK) in April by enabling third party developers to create watchfaces and games for Pebble. Pebble's enthusiastic developer community immediately went to work and created hundreds of new watchfaces in just a few weeks. Pebbler supported sites like mypebblefaces.com, forums.getpebble.com and watchface-generator.de are focal points of the growing community. Over 8,000 developers have downloaded the Pebble SDK, resulting in more than 5,000 unique watchapps and 300,000 watchapp installs in just over a month.
Today Pebble released the next stage of the platform enabling two-way communication between Pebble and the smartphone at developer.getpebble.com. Known as PebbleKit, the update enables third parties to develop watchapps that send and receive information from a connected smartphone. Watchapps can now be built to receive weather or traffic information, act as remote controls for a phone or internet-connected device, or display bitcoin prices. The Pebble platform will continue improving over the course of this year and into the future.
Also launching today is the Pebble Sports API. RunKeeper, a GPS fitness-tracking app, announced support for Pebble two weeks ago and now that same functionality is available for integration into any sports or fitness tracker app. Other sports apps like FreeCaddie, a GPS golf rangefinder, have also released Pebble-enabled apps.
Pebble's smart watches have begun shipping to Kickstarter backers and are now available for pre-order at getpebble.com.
Launched on Kickstarter in 2012 with one of the most successful fundraising campaigns to date, Pebble is the first watch designed for the 21st century. Built to be a minimalist yet fashionable product that seamlessly blends into everyday life, the Pebble smart watch is infinitely customizable, with beautiful downloadable watch faces and useful internet-connected apps. Pebble connects to iPhone and Android smartphones using Bluetooth, and is available for preorder online at getpebble.com. Visit us on Facebook and on Twitter @pebble.
Our team is rapidly expanding. We're hiring for a number of positions at our downtown Palo Alto headquarters including embedded developers, designers, iOS, Android, test engineers, developer evangelists and interns/co-ops for this summer and fall. If you love Pebble and wearable computing as much as we do, you should come join us! Apply at http://getpebble.com/pages/jobs.
About Charles River Ventures
Founded in 1970, Charles River Ventures is an early-stage venture capital fund that takes a value-added, hands-on approach to support its portfolio companies. Charles River Ventures is one of the nation's oldest and most successful early-stage venture capital firms with approximately $2.1 billion under management. CRV is dedicated to helping exceptional entrepreneurs turn their ideas into the next category leaders in high growth technology and media sectors. Since its founding in 1970, CRV funds have been ranked among the industry's top performers. CRV has offices in Boston, MA and Menlo Park, CA. For more information, visit crv.com.
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