Hundreds of Employees May Soon Be Without a Job
Liquidation proceedings have reportedly begun for Jawbone, a consumer electronics producer, just a few short years after the company attained valuations as high as $3.2 billion.
Jawbone was a competitor in the wearables market where it tried to create devices that would compete with other companies like Fitbit Inc (NYSE:FIT). Despite receiving large injections of cash from some of Silicon Valley’s biggest investors, as well as foreign investment funds, the company was unable to parlay those cash injections and goodwill into sales and it has now begun the process of shutting down.
Based out of San Francisco, Jawbone is one of the larger companies to go belly-up after receiving such high amounts of funding. The company was tied to top-tier venture capital firms Sequoia, Andreessen Horowitz, Khosla Ventures, and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, among others.
The Kuwait Investment Authority led a $165.0-million investment in Jawbone in 2016. This was even after many other investors had already chosen to pull out since the outlook for Jawbone was not as bright as it once had been, especially compared to the days when it was valued at over $3.0 billion.
Jawbone’s failure was multi-faceted, but two key factors led to the company’s demise. One was the triumph of Fitbit, which ate much of Jawbone’s market share and emerged at the top of the wearables market.
The second issue was that wearable tech in general has not had a ton of success on the market in recent years. Fitbit has seen its stock struggle, and so have other companies that once thrived in the wearables market, like GoPro Inc (NASDAQ:GPRO).
At its height, Jawbone had hundreds of employees.
Earlier in the year, the company had been searching for a buyer, but was unable to secure a deal, leading to the company’s shuttering.
While Silicon Valley is more used to boasting about its massive success stories, Jawbone stands out as one of the bigger collapses of a Silicon Valley start-up, especially considering how much the company was able to raise in terms of capital.
“Jawbone’s demise a case of ‘death by overfunding’ in Silicon Valley,” Reuters, July 10, 2017.