Tile, a device that’s become synonymous with Bluetooth tracking accessories, isn’t doing great, according to a new report.
TechCrunch says that Tile has laid off 30 employees and halted the potential hiring of an additional 10 staffers. These layoffs come a year after the tracking device manufacturer raised $25 million in Series B funding last May. TechCrunch’s report states that the layoffs are due to disappointing holiday sales for Tile.
The company reworked its product line last summer, adding two new high-end devices to its lineup: a sport-focused iteration designed for active people and a white-and-gold ‘Style’ version.
Tile sent TechCrunch the following statement regarding the layoffs:
As part of our 2018 planning process, the Tile leadership team determined that a recalibration of our priorities was necessary so that the company can focus on the development of our Tile Platform business and core hardware products. Unfortunately, this means that we had to say goodbye to roughly 30 Tile colleagues. Tile remains the leader in smart location, and we will continue creating a world where everyone can find everything that matters.
To some extent, it looks like these cuts are a cost-saving measure on the part of Tile. Furthermore, TechCrunch also says that the hiring freeze was not publicly announced.
I’ve been using both a Tile Style and Sport for the last few years and have found them to be durable, and, more importantly, reliable tracking devices, especially when compared to the company’s competition in the crowded Bluetooth tracking device market.
Despite the various improvements the company added to the latest generation of its tracking devices, particularly in the build quality department, it looks like its possible those interested in purchasing a tracking device skipped the new Tile, as they may have already owned an early version of one of the company’s products, leading to the slump in sales.
Back in August when I spoke to Simon Fleming-Wood, Tile’s Toronto-born Canadian chief marketing officer, he said that moving forward the company’s goal is to separate itself from competitors.
“We think of product design as sort of a core capability of the company. We see ourselves more of a mini Apple than a knock-off little hardware company. I think there’s a very intentional effort to make these [Tile Pro] really high quality and not in just performance, but look and feel as well,” said Fleming-Wood, during the interview.