Essential Products Raises US$300 mn in Latest Funding Round

Published By : 10 Aug 2017 | Published By : QYRESEARCH

The California-based smartphone startup, Essential Products, has raised US$300 mn in a new funding round. The company, founded by Andy Rubin, a co-creator of Android mobile OS, has partnered with retailers to sell its first device. The smartphone, pegged at US$699, is equipped with a ceramic and titanium case and will compete straight against the new devices from Apple and Samsung Electronics this holiday season. In The U.S., Amazon.com, Best Buy, and Sprint have agreed to sell this smartphone while in Canada, it will be sold by Telus, the company said in a statement on Wednesday. The funding round was led by Access Technology Ventures, which brought its overall investment to US$330 mn.

Strategic investors also included Amazon.com, which participated via its Alexa Fund, Tencent Holdings, and Foxconn, an electronics contract manufacturer. The previous investors, i.e., Playground Global and Redpoint Ventures also participated in this funding round. “The company will announce a release date for the new smartphone in the next week,” Niccolo De Masi, the President of Essential Products, stated in an interview.

With a number of new releases, the distribution of this phone could prove to be critical during this year. Essential’s phone will only be exhibited in Best Buy and Sprint retail stores in the U.S. while the market leaders enjoy a much wide distribution networks. Samsung is anticipated to introduce Galaxy Note 8 in September and Apple is projected to launch its much awaited 10th anniversary iPhone by the end of this year.

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