Pebble, the world’s best-selling smartwatch, just got smarter with the launch of Time, a new digital timepiece with a colour display and more powerful features than its predecesor.
Priced the same as its old models, Pebble Time has very quickly proved popular: after hitting its Kickstarter goal in under 20 minutes—a not-small goal of $500,000—the campaign is already closing in on $5 million early in the first day.
Pebble originally set Kickstarter records in 2013. It now looks well poised to break its own records.
The company did not need to use Kickstarter this time, as it’s a fully fledged firm selling real products already. But it’s part of a wave of established companies using crowdfunding as an e-commerce platform and marketing tactic. The Verge explains how a company in Pebble’s situation benefits from crowdfunding even when it’s not necessary.
The timing is strong; Pebble now has a more fully featured smartwatch that will launch around the same time as Apple’s upcoming smartwatch—but is taking customers’ money first.
Update (Feb 26): Closing in on 50,000 backers, Pebble’s latest campaign has blown past $10 million in just two days.
Update (Mar 4): Now past $15 million, Pebble Time is officially the most-funded Kickstarter campaign of all time. More than three weeks remain in the campaign, which is now backed by over 62,000 people.
Update (Mar 11): Pebble has reached 70,000 backers and $18 million.
Update (Mar 20): Pebble’s campaign is now approaching $20 million raised from nearly 75,000 backers with one week left to go.