Pebble was the company that ignited the smartwatch market back in 2012, when it raised $10.3m on crowdfunding site Kickstarter to make its first e-paper screened device. Yesterday, it returned to the site for a new model, Pebble Time, and made one helluva splash. Armed with a colour screen and a promised battery life of up to seven days, the new model hit its $500k target in 17 minutes yesterday afternoon, and 15 hours after its campaign went live, its total stood at $7.7m.
With 30 days to go, it’s already more than halfway to the total raised by the biggest ever Kickstarter campaign – $13.3m for the ‘Coolest’ drinks cooler. Pebble’s new model will ship in May, with its first 10,000 units going for $159 on Kickstarter, and another 30,000 available for $179. The campaign has interesting implications for Kickstarter too: in September 2012 the company made it clear that “Kickstarter Is Not A Store”, but its use as a pre-order funnel by Pebble, which is now an established company, suggests that in 2015, it can be exactly that.