Why did Pebble fail

San Francisco (dpa) - The smartwatch pioneer Pebble has failed as an independent company and the fitness band specialist Fitbit is taking over part of the employees and technologies.

"We made the tough decision to close the company and no longer manufacture Pebble devices," said the Californian start-up. Fitbit emphasized that devices were not part of the deal.

Pebble caused a stir in 2012 with a crowdfunding campaign in which the start-up raised money from users for its first watch. It raised $ 10.2 million - the record for the Kickstarter funding platform at the time. A total of around two million Pebble devices have been delivered, it was now said.

Another version of the Pebble computer clock and a small wireless modem for on the go should be launched as a new product soon. For this, Pebble had collected almost $ 13 million through Kickstarter this year. The money will be refunded within eight weeks, it said.

Financial service Bloomberg reported Wednesday that Fitbit was paying less than $ 40 million - and Pebble's debt and other liabilities were greater than that amount.

Pebble had not been able to convert its time advantage with smartwatches into market share. Apple went straight to the market leader with its computer watch launched in April 2015 and holds this position by a clear margin, even if sales this year declined significantly, at least until a new version was launched.

Fitbit recently had its own problems, which also have to do with competition from computer watches such as the Apple Watch. The company disappointed the analysts with the forecast for the current Christmas business.

Fitbit is the market leader in fitness bracelets that count steps and calories burned, for example. The company has so far stayed out of the smartwatch market and has instead opted for a sports watch with fewer functions. Now, co-founder and boss James Park emphasized that the new additions from Pebble should accelerate the development of new products.