Humane explores sale after rocky wearables launch: Bloomberg

Following its widely criticized launch of wearable devices, artificial intelligence startup Humane is looking for a buyer, Bloomberg reported on Tuesday.

The company, which The Information said was valued at $850 million last year, is seeking a price between $750 million and $1 billion, Bloomberg reported. The outlet said Humane hired an unnamed financial advisor for the process and that it may not result in a deal.

Human, founded in 2018 by husband-and-wife duo Imran Chaudhri and Bethany Bongiorno, both former Apple managers, built an AI-enabled wearable Pin that offers smartphone capabilities. It is priced at $699 and has a monthly subscription fee of $24.

You are supposed to complete daily tasks like making calls, taking photos, and answering questions. You can even project an interactive screen onto the palm of users’ hands.

The pin’s release in April, which had been delayed for months, was a disaster. Mainstream media outlets and independent critics, such as YouTube tech king Marques Brownlee, published scathing reviews, saying the pin was not yet ready for real-life customers.

Brownlee titled his video about the pin: “Worst product I’ve ever reviewed…so far.”

Humane’s co-founders said in a statement to Business Insider last month that the device and its operating system are just the “beginning of the story,” with updates in the works that would make the pin “smarter and more powerful over time.” “.

Humane raised a $100 million Series C funding round in March 2023 from investors including Microsoft, Tiger Global, and OpenAI co-founder Sam Altman.

Silicon Valley and the tech world at large have invested many millions of dollars in developing a new generation of AI-powered wearable devices. But few products have reached consumers on a large scale and it is still too early to say which companies will emerge winners.

Humane did not respond to BI’s request for comment on the sale, sent outside standard business hours.