Watteam, who brought the price of power metering down under $300 with their DIY Powerbeat glue on sensors, just announced they are halting ALL production & stopping ALL consumer sales. But at the same time the just teased an all new integrated power meter crankset called the Smart Crank! So what gives?
Watteam cycling power meter company searching for strategic partners
Over the past couple generations of the Powerbeat, Watteam did struggle a bit with production issues, having to halt and delay deliveries on a couple of occasions due to quality control issues and dial back compatibility with some cranks. For the most part, those issues seem to have been resolved, although likely with more in-house assembly making the process less cost-effective.
It sounds to us like those difficulties aren’t entirely behind the company. And likely due to financial concerns, they have decided to continue down the technology development pipeline and look for someone else with more expertise in manufacturing who would take over production responsibilities.
But what about that new Watteam Smart Cranks you ask?
Well, Watteam still believe in the ubiquity of putting power meters on bikes. And as they have shown, it should be able to integrated the necessary technology with relatively low, real hardware cost implications. They want to take their tech and integrate it more seamlessly into the components already on our bikes. So developing a complete integrated crankset solution like this new Smart Crank makes sense. Now we just have to wait and see if Watteam can drum up the financing to continue on with product development?
In the meantime, Watteam will still offer continued service and support to existing Powerbeat customers – if you already have the power meter. If you ordered one and haven’t gotten it yet, it looks like you are out of luck.
Full text of Watteam’s Press Release below:
Watteam always believes the future of cycling involves an integrated power meter, in all new bikes, including e-bikes. Watteam fully stands behind this industry advancement and therefore began its restructuring and the development of specific strategic moves to look for the perfect partner to take our technology to the next level.
As of this week, Watteam decided to suspend its production and direct sales of the POWERBEAT™ product line and to withhold pending orders. Although we are facing the peak of the retail season, the G3 is not at a standard we are confident to supply. With limited resources and production difficulties, this is the optimal moment to make this exciting change towards what we have always envisioned as the future and make it possible.
We apologize for the inconvenience that this decision may cause to you, and we hope that our continued developments will bring you greater benefit in the future!
All current POWERBEAT™ customers can continue to use all POWERBEAT™ App and server facilities and are still eligible to receive our full support and warranty. The several hundred G3 customers can rest assured, since their units were manually assembled by Watteam, and went through vigorous quality check.
The Future of Watteam
Going forward, Watteam is vigorously perusing an individual or corporation that will obtain the current assets that have been obtained over seven years of industry knowledge, Big Data, and technological advancements. In addition to the Smart Crank being one of the most accurate and advanced power meters, equipped with all the latest features, it will function as a “One Stop Shop” for manufacturers and customers. Featuring a variety of industry solutions that will bring an end to many problems faced by the manufacturer and the end client.
The outcome of having the most cost-effective hardware with a mature and stable algorithm is the Smart Crank. A mandatory bike component integrated into every bike, without additional costs to the end user.
The current management decisions coming from Watteam’s board of directors is to consider acquisition options and to search for the right strategic partners in order to establish positive cash flow and execute our vision. We are very confident with our technology, our cost-effective hardware and methods of integration. We wish the cycling community will get to enjoy it eventually.