Carl Pei’s new hardware venture Nothing now owns Essential
OnePlus co-founder Carl Pei’s new hardware venture — Nothing — now owns Andy Rubin’s Essential. The company recently raised $15 million in a Series A funding round led by GV, the venture capital arm of Alphabet Inc., and is currently working on a pair of wireless headphones that will hit the market later this year.
Although Nothing is yet to officially announce the transaction, the folks over at 9to5Google have found recent filings at the UK Intellectual Property Office, showing that Andy Rubin has signed over ownership of Essential to Nothing Technologies Limited. The filings reveal that Nothing submitted the application as early as November 11, 2020, and the process was completed as of January 6, 2021. As detailed in the attached screenshot, the transaction includes all of Essential’s existing trademarks and logos. But it doesn’t reveal whether it includes all the patents held by the company or not.
Nothing’s acquisition of Essential makes sense as the latter had been working on its own Home smart hub and speaker before shutting shop last year. Since Carl Pei has already confirmed that Nothing is working on various smart home products, the acquisition may help give the company an existing platform to build upon. Essential was also working on a unique smartphone design, codenamed GEM, before its closure, which raises speculations about Nothing’s plans to enter the smartphone market in the not so distant future.
Nothing is set to reveal more details about its upcoming products in the coming days via its official website. Once it does, we’ll know for sure how the company’s acquisition of Essential has influenced its product catalog. As of now, Nothing has said nothing about the aforementioned details. We’ll update this post as soon as we learn more from the company.