The wearables market is about it see some major consolidation. According to a report from the Information, fitness technology company Fitbit is getting ready to purchase smartwatch maker Pebble for around $40 million.
The report was confirmed to Engadget by an independent, anonymous source, which put the expected sale price at between $34 and 40 million.
When contacted for comment, Fitbit Told IBTimes, “We don’t comment on rumors or speculation.”
The sale seems like a sound fit for both parties. Pebble, despite its considerable amount of crowdsourced success, laid off 25 percent of its staff earlier this year. At the time of the layoff, Pebble CEO Eric Migicovsky said, "Money is pretty tight these days."
For Fitbit, the decision to snag Pebble instantly makes the company a player in the smartwatch market. It already has a considerable grasp on the standalone fitness tracker, being arguably the most recognizable brand in the field. However, its market share has shrunk over the course of 2016 as the wearables market has gotten more competitive.
According to the International Data Corporation (IDC), Fitbit held on 24.5 percent of the wearable market—a drop of nearly 10 percent from the year prior.
Fitbit took its own crack at a smartwatch earlier this year with the announcement of the Fitbit Blaze. However, the device was mostly just a fitness tracker with a larger screen and lacked some of the finer features found in top smartwatches. The company’s stock took a tumble when the Blaze was announced.
Pebble, on the other hand, is the definition of a crowd pleaser. After all, its entire business stems from a crowdfunding campaign launched on Kickstarter. The original Pebble smartwatch was the most successful Kickstarter campaign ever at the time, and was able to replicate that success time and time again with campaigns for its subsequent smartwatches.
According to The Information’s reporting, Fitbit is less interested in those successful smartwatches and is purely interested in the technology and patents owned by Pebble, meaning the buyout of the company could be the last we see of Pebble-made devices.
Just last year, there were rumors Pebble was in talks to be acquired by Citizen for an upwards of $740 million. Intel also reportedly attempted to buy the smartwatch maker for $70 million earlier this year.
Pebble has not responded to request for comment.