Published in Mobiles

Android co-creator raises $300 million

by on10 August 2017

Essential Products will have a new product soon

The smartphone startup founded by a co-creator of the Android mobile operating system, has raised $300 million in new funding and signed up retailers to sell its first device.

Essential Products, founded by Chief Executive Andy Rubin in late 2015, plans to launch a $699 phone, with a titanium and ceramic case.

It will compete directly against new devices from Samsung Electronics and Apple this holiday season. Retailers include Best Buy, and carriers Sprint in the United States and Telus in Canada, Essential said.

Strategic investors include Tencent Holdings Ltd, electronics contract manufacturer Foxconn and Previous investors Redpoint Ventures and Playground Global also participated.

A release date for Essential's phone will be announced next week, President Niccolo De Masi said in an interview.

Some of the Essential phone's features, like a detachable 360-degree camera, are also available on Samsung models, which are bulkier.

The fact the company has two Asian investors indicates that Essential will soon be outside the US as the biggest phone markets are China and India. However, it looks like Essential will focus on "building a brand in the Western World" before expanding to other countries.

If it manages sales of "low single-digit millions" of phones in its first year it will be considered a success, The unusual materials of titanium and ceramic limit production.

The idea is to have the same retail footprint and product diversity as Samsung and Apple in the next five to ten years, the company claims


Last modified on 10 August 2017
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