Nothing will reveal its 2022 product roadmap on March 23, during an event titled “The Truth”, the London-based consumer tech startup lead by OnePlus co-founder Carl Pei said today. The company also announced that it had secured an additional $70 million—Series B—funding that will go towards “scaling its product ecosystem and establishing its London Design Hub” while confirming a partnership with Qualcomm – specifically on the Snapdragon side – to create “new categories”.
Buzz has it that Nothing is working on its first smartphone that could be launched as early as next month. The development is surely not surprising considering Pei’s past record and the fact that Nothing owns the Essential brand, the company started by Android creator Andy Rubin which eventually shut down due to poor sale performance of its first and only smartphone—the Essential Phone.
Pei is believed to have shown the phone—possibly a prototype—off to select on-lookers behind closed doors at the recently concluded Mobile World Congress 2022 trade show in Barcelona. (There is apparently a picture doing the rounds of the internet, where he is seen showing the alleged device to none other than Qualcomm’s CEO Cristiano Amon.) A couple of recent quirky social media exchanges between Pei, Qualcomm, and Android, were also a fair bit of confirmation that a Nothing phone was indeed in the offing.
“With this round of financing, we have the fuel to realise the next phase of our vision of a seamless digital future,” Pei said in a prepared statement, adding “our first year was a warmup, and we can’t wait to reveal what we’re building at Nothing during the upcoming event.”
Some of the most prominent firms and figures are backing Nothing. The fresh $70 million fundraising is co-led by EQT Ventures and C Ventures with participation from GV, iPod inventor Tony Fadell’s Future Shape, Gaorong Capital and Animoca Brands. The investment brings the total raised by Nothing to $144 million to date, including $1.5 million from its first community investment round, and $7 million seed financing from Fadell, Reddit CEO Steve Huffman, Twitch co-founder Kevin Lin, YouTuber Casey Neistat, an undisclosed amount from CRED founder Kunal Shah, and another $15 million in Series A funding led by Alphabet VC arm GV (formerly Google Ventures).
Its first product, the Ear (1) wireless earphones grabbed a lot of attention for their see-through design and aggressive pricing. Nothing claims it has shipped over 400,000 units since launch in August 2021. That said, 2022 will be crucial because Nothing has already hinted that it wants to get into multiple categories, some of which it might touch upon on March 23. The invite shared with the media says, “we just might reveal our next product”. Whether it turns out to be a phone, or something else, will be known soon enough. The event livestream kicks off at 7:30 pm in India. Watch this space for more.
| OnePlus Nord CE 2 review: A practical phone that gets most things right