Nothing closed a $96 million funding round to fund its development. With its ambitious vision, the company has set itself the goal of becoming the Apple of the Android ecosystem.
If you are a loyal CssTricks reader, then the name “Nothing” is probably familiar to you. This company was launched by the co-founder of OnePlus, Carl Pei, with the support of Frenchman Akis Evangelidis and part of his former team.
With Nothing, Carl Pei seeks to replicate, if not surpass, the success he has had with OnePlus. This ambition is all the more palpable given the persistent rumors of OnePlus’ imminent departure from the French market due to a patent dispute with Nokia.
Since its creation in 2020, Nothing has marketed a smartphone, the Nothing Phone (1), as well as a range of headphones.
Now, the company is gearing up to launch its second phone, the Phone (2), which promises enhanced features at an arguably higher price than its predecessor. With its products, Nothing doesn’t just compete with other Android smartphones; it directly targets the giant Apple.
96 million dollars to finance its development
But to carry out this ambitious mission, a strong contribution of capital is necessary. Recently, the company has completed a financing round of 96 million dollars (about 88 million euros), led by Highland Europe and backed by its existing investors such as Google Ventures, Sweden’s EQT, C Ventures and the notorious Swedish House Mafia group. Nothing’s total valuation remains unknown, but Forbes puts it at $500 million, which would match the valuation it got from the 2022 crowdfunding campaign. Nothing has raised $250 million since inception.
The success of this fundraiser does not seem to be a simple fluke. Nothing has proven that it is capable of designing and marketing a phone: in 2022, it sold 750,000 units of the Phone (1) and its headphones, generating an annual turnover of 200 million dollars. To put that into perspective, in 2022 Bank of America estimated the value of the iPhone to Apple at $205 billion. To date, Nothing has shipped over 1.5 million phones and headphones.
This fresh capital will be used to develop new products, expand the existing range and finance costly launches.
An admiration for Apple
Carl Pei does not hide his admiration for Apple, which he regularly expresses in product test videos and interviews. As he told Forbes, ” We’re not trying to be the Apple of 2023. We’re trying to be the Apple of the 1980s “. This statement sums up well its ambition to make Nothing the Apple of the Android world.
To do this, Carl Pei intends to take advantage of its international presence: although Nothing’s head office is based in London, its team is spread over several countries, and its investors are just as international. It can also take advantage of a market from which some major Chinese players have been excluded, such as Huawei due to the American embargo, and recently the Oppo group due to its legal problems with Nokia, indirectly affecting the brands Vivo, Realme and OnePlus.
Noting, therefore, seems well positioned to shake things up in the Android ecosystem. Only time will tell if this ambitious start-up will succeed in achieving its audacious goal: to become the Apple of Android.