Jawbone looking to sell speaker business, refocus on wearables
June 01, 2016
Consumer technology and wearable device company Jawbone is reportedly in the process of shopping its portable speaker business, with plans to refocus efforts on its health & wearables division. Founded in 1997, Jawbone has raised about $550 million in equity from some of the top firms in the industry, such as Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Sequoia Capital and Andreessen Horowitz. The company's valuation peaked at $3.2 billion with a $147 million round in September 2014, but it has since taken quite a haircut; a $165 million raise at the beginning of this year reportedly valued it at $1.5 billion.
The news of Jawbone looking to sell off its speaker business could be seen in a few different lights. On one hand, it may be refreshing to see the company refocus on wearables, a developing market that has more potential than portable speakers. That said, selling off this division could mark another step back, shrinking the company's footprint and giving up market share to competitors like Apple, which offers both portable speakers through its acquired Beats brand and wearables via the Apple Watch. When you weigh the fact that Jawbone cut 15% of its staff half a year ago, it's tough to view this news as positive.