Kara Swisher

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Jawbone Nabs $70 Million in a Jammed Box of Funding

Jawbone, the maker of elegant mobile and wireless devices, has added $70 million in funding to its coffers, with a new investment from J.P. Morgan Asset Management.

The San Francisco-based company has now raised a total of $170 million, which includes a recent $49 million venture round from high-profile Silicon Valley VC firm Andreessen Horowitz in March.

Jawbone also has raised money from Sequoia Capital, Khosla Ventures and a number of prominent angel investors.

All are making a big bet on consumer electronics, an always dicey arena, and on Jawbone’s innovative products, such as its initial Bluetooth headsets.

The start-up has more recently expanded its offerings to the Jambox Smart Speaker, which has become a fast-selling wireless speaker.

Both have been particularly popular with Apple users, and Jawbone has been prominently featured in its retail stores.

Jawbone CEO Hosain Rahman certainly sounds like Apple CEO Steve Jobs when he talks about an all-encompassing digital solution.

“We’re going to get into some new categories of products,” said Rahman, about what he plans to do with the new funding, especially around making smaller, embedded and wearable devices. “We want to be an end-to-end experience.”

While he would not be specific, Rahman said that this area of computing is changing to encompass the entire mobile lives of its consumers.

“We want to leverage the power of the tool in your pocket,” he said. “This is just the beginning.”

Here’s the official press release from Jawbone:


Jawbone to Expand its Products and Services for the Mobile Lifestyle

SAN FRANCISCO –- July 12, 2011 –- Jawbone, a leading innovator of products and services for the mobile lifestyle, today announced it has secured $70 million in funding from investors advised by J.P. Morgan Asset Management.

Jawbone is one of the largest privately-held, venture capital-backed consumer electronics companies in the world, and this round brings total investment in Jawbone close to $170 million to date. The funding will allow Jawbone to continue its rapid growth and expand into new markets and categories, building on its successful portfolio of premium mobile products and services.

“We seek to invest in the best high-growth companies,” said Larry Unrein, managing director of J.P. Morgan Asset Management. :Given the widespread adoption of smartphones globally, we are seeing a massive shift in user expectations around having a complete, high-quality and seamless experience wherever they are. Jawbone, with its long-standing expertise in mobile user experience, has been delighting customers by enabling them to get the most out of their smartphones through a combination of cutting-edge technology and great design. We believe Jawbone is poised to be the next great mobile computing company coming out of Silicon Valley.”

“Funding from J.P. Morgan Asset Management is fantastic for us as we continue to rapidly expand our business,” said Hosain Rahman, CEO of Jawbone. “As people’s digital lives become increasingly centered around mobile devices, we see no shortage of opportunities for our technology and products to unlock the potential of a full mobile experience. The support of J.P. Morgan Asset Management will help us be even more aggressive in our pursuit of these opportunities.”

Jawbone’s innovation has resulted in unprecedented demand for its products and services on a global scale. The company is known for leading and disrupting categories with its breakthrough software, strong commitment to design, and award-winning products.

“Jawbone is one of the most important mobile companies with which Sequoia Capital has partnered,” said Roelof Botha, partner at Sequoia Capital and Jawbone board member. “Jawbone’s relentless building of great products that consumers love gives the company a unique ability to redefine established markets. We are delighted to have J.P. Morgan Asset Management on board.”

Jawbone first made its mark in the industry by creating an entirely new class of intelligent Bluetooth® headsets, and has successfully expanded its portfolio of products for the past decade. The JAMBOX Smart Speaker™ is one of the best-selling speakers globally, and the recently-launched Jawbone ERA™ headset is the first to include HD audio and motion sensors.

For more information, images and product demos, please visit www.Jawbone.com/Press, or follow @Jawbone on Twitter.

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