Wearable AI Startup Humane Said to Be Exploring Potential Sale After Rocky Launch of AI Pin

Wearables

Artificial intelligence startup Humane has been seeking a buyer for its business, according to people familiar with the matter, just weeks after the company’s closely watched wearable AI device had a rocky public launch.

The company is working with a financial adviser to assist it, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the matter is private.

Humane is seeking a price of between $750 million (roughly Rs. 6,242 crore) and $1 billion (roughly Rs. 8,323 crore) in a sale, one person said. The process is still early and may not result in a deal.

Representatives for Humane didn’t respond to requests for comment.

Humane was founded in 2018 by two longtime Apple veterans, the married couple Imran Chaudhri and Bethany Bongiorno, in an attempt to come up with a new, AI-powered device that could potentially rival the iPhone. Last year it was valued by investors at $850 million (roughly Rs. 7,074 crore), according to tech news site the Information.

The company has raised $230 million (roughly Rs. 1,914 crore) to date from a roster of high-profile investors including OpenAI Chief Executive Officer Sam Altman.

The startup’s magnetic, square-shaped, laser-beaming, wearable pin attracted significant buzz prior to its launch. But the $699 (roughly Rs. 58,000) device was widely panned by critics for issues with its reliability and practicality. The company has said it’s working to improve areas such as battery life, device overheating, accuracy and response time.

Humane’s potential sale comes at the same time that other competitors are also expanding AI-hardware efforts, such as the handheld Rabbit device as well as Meta Platforms’ AI-powered Ray-Bans. But so far, none of the technology has become mainstream.

© 2024 Bloomberg LP


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