Pebble is a digital watch that syncs with your smartphone, so you can read emails and texts on your wrist. It will even tell you the time!
The Palo Alto company, Pebble Technology, raised money from angel investors to perfect the design, but when they went to venture capitalists to manufacture the watch, they hit a wall.
So the company tried the crowdfunding website, Kickstarter, to raise money.
In exchange for about $100, supporters would get a watch once they were manufactured. Within hours, Pebble had surpassed its goal of $100,000. Within days, they had sped past $2 million. And on Thursday, the company decided to pull the campaign off Kickstarter after raising more than $10 million and selling 85,000 watches, making it the most successful campaign ever on Kickstarter.
Pebble founder Eric Migicovsky said it was a difficult decision to stop the campaign, but they wanted to make sure they could deliver all those watches to supporters. He says his small team will be working around the clock between now and September to meet their obligations.
Migicovsky says he sees Kickstarter as a complement to raising equity through venture capitalists. But one of the advantages of Kickstarter is that a company isn't giving supporters a financial stake in the company. Instead, they're raising cash to sell products.
Migicovsky said he just plunked down $45 to invest in an iPad case that turns your tablet into an Etch-a-Sketch.
About 50,000 people have sought funding on Kickstarter, and about half of them reach their goals.
- Eric Migicovsky, founder of Pebble Technology
This segment aired on May 10, 2012.