Jawbone has raised a new round of funding, bringing in $165 million from The Kuwait Investment Authority to fund its operations. The company also revealed that president Sameer Samat will be leaving to take another job at Google. However, he’ll remain associated with Jawbone both as an advisor and investor.
First reported by Re/code, Jawbone has since confirmed the new investment, with a company spokesperson telling VentureBeat that it’ll use to “fund operations and growth and bring new products to market.” Additionally, in an effort to retain its talent, Jawbone has also created a 30 percent equity pool for its current employees.
Although the company declined to provide information about its valuation for this round, its size is almost half of the one it raised in April 2015. Previous rounds had pegged Jawbone’s valuation at around $3.3 billion.
The Kuwait Investment Authority is the organization that manages the funds of that nation’s government. It’s estimated to have more than $500 billion in assets and has made investments worldwide, including in the United States, Europe, and China.
Samat’s departure comes eight months after his hiring. Before joining Jawbone, he worked at Google as its vice president of shopping and travel products. He was responsible for the product and engineering, but now has left to pursue an opportunity where he’ll be reportedly working within the Google Play area under Jamie Rosenberg handling basically the same thing.
Jawbone said that CEO Hosain Rahman will be stepping in to take over some of the responsibilities, sharing the load with CFO Jason Child.
2015 has been a rough year for the company as it tries to find itself once again after a layoff that affected 4 percent of its workforce. It also has sued its fitness tracker rival Fitbit, alleging that the latter stole Jawbone’s employees and trade secrets, something that Fitbit has denied.
Previous investors in Jawbone include Andreessen Horowitz, BlackRock, Deutsche Telekom, JP Morgan, Khosla Ventures, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Sequoia Capital, Silver Lake Waterman, SV Angel, and Wells Fargo. To date, it has raised more than a billion in funding.
Update as of 12:59 p.m. on Friday: This post has been updated to reflect Sameer Samat’s correct title as president when he was at Jawbone.
Jawbone has developed products and services for the mobile lifestyle unparalleled in their innovation, ease-of-use and sophistication of design. The company is the creator of several wireles... All Jawbone news »