Backed by Google and the Swedish House Mafia, Carl Pei’s Nothing hopes to be the alternative to Apple for a younger generation of smartphone users.
London-based smartphone brand Nothing has raised $96 million in its latest funding round to further strengthen its position in the consumer technology industry.
Founded by Carl Pei in 2021, Nothing garnered international attention when it launched its Phone 1 device to compete with the iPhone last year. Pei is famous for having previously co-founded the Chinese electronics brand OnePlus with Pete Lau in 2013. He left OnePlus in 2020.
Billing itself as an innovative challenger in the somewhat saturated global consumer electronics market, Nothing is developing a host of devices to “make technology fun again.”
Since its launch last year, the Phone 1 smartphone has been hailed by Times magazine as one of the best inventions of 2022 for its innovative design. Earlier this year, it received a Red Dot Design Award, along with the rest of Nothing’s current product portfolio. Other products made by Nothing include the Ear 2 and Ear Stick true wireless audio devices.
Now Pei and his team are preparing to introduce Phone 2 to the world, which is scheduled to launch on July 11. Nothing said that the Phone 2 features a lower carbon footprint than its predecessor and comes with improved design and features.
Nothing compares to Apple
Pei, who runs the company as CEO, said as part of the financing announcement today (June 28) that Nothing has assembled “one of the strongest teams in the industry” and has sold more than 1.5 million devices in all over the world in just over two years.
“It is clear that there is a real demand for an innovative challenger in the consumer technology industry, and with this new round of funding, we have never been better positioned to realize our vision of making technology fun again.”
Their mission is to offer customers an ecosystem experience that is on par with Apple.
“If you want products that connect and work together seamlessly, the only option is Apple,” he said last year. “As soon as you leave that ecosystem for a Windows PC or Android phone, it breaks down. There is no alternative to Apple. We are building the most attractive alternative”.
The latest investment was led by London-based Highland Europe, with participation from existing investors GV (Google Ventures), EQT Ventures, C Capital and the Swedish House Mafia music group.
Tony Zappalà, a partner at Highland Europe, said Pei shares the venture capital firm’s vision of “connecting technology with the younger generation.”
“In an industry as challenging as this, it has been quite some time since a start-up of this scale and ambition has reached this stage, given the difficulty and complexity of surviving in such a competitive environment.”
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