May 31, 2017

Meet the investors in Android founder's new smartphone startup

Andy Rubin's startup, Essential unveiled its new smartphone earlier in the day, but has been mum on who is providing the significant funding needed to build a big new consumer electronics company. However, a slide on the company's Web site appears to answer the question.

In the investor section of Essential's new Web page, the company lists the logos of contract manufacturer Foxconn, Rubin's incubator Playground, Redpoint, Access Technology Ventures, Tencent, VY Capital and Altimeter Capital. Essential officials had declined to comment earlier in the day on the amount of funding it had raised or who had invested.

The Wall Street Journal reported earlier this year that SoftBank had pulled back on plans to invest in Essential.

Rubin is set to talk more about his vision for Essential, which stretches far beyond the phone, in an appearance shortly at Code Conference.

Why it matters: Essential has talked about wanting to build not just a couple products, but a big new consumer electronics brand. That's going to take some serious money.

Update: On stage at Code Conference, Rubin confirmed the company began with a $30 million round from Playground and Redpoint, and has raised a second round of financing, with total financing in the "hundreds of millions" of dollars. He also confirmed that SoftBank had been all set to invest, but said a conflict arose due to a large investor in SoftBank's Vision Fund (aka Apple), which didn't want to back Essential, nor did Rubin want them having a stake.

Screenshot by Axios

Go deeper

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 4 p.m. ET: 1,187,798 — Total deaths: 63,902 — Total recoveries: 244,246Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 4 p.m. ET: 301,902 — Total deaths: 8,175 — Total recoveries: 14,505Map.
  3. Public health latest: How the coronavirus is upending childbirth. CDC launches hospitalization and coronavirus fatality trackers and recommends face coverings in public. Federal government will cover costs of COVID-19 treatment for uninsured.
  4. 1 community thing: Coronavirus hits poor, minority communities harder.
  5. Business updates: Restaurants step up for health care workers. Employees are pressuring companies to provide protections during coronavirus. America's small business bailout off to bad start.
  6. Oil latest: Monday meeting among oil-producing countries to discuss supply curbs is reportedly being delayed amid tensions between Saudi Arabia and Russia.
  7. Education update: Many college-age students won't get coronavirus relief checks.
  8. 1 🏀 thing: The WNBA postpones start of training camps and season.
  9. What should I do? Pets, moving and personal health. Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  10. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

Subscribe to Mike Allen's Axios AM to follow our coronavirus coverage each morning from your inbox.

U.S. coronavirus updates: Death toll surpasses 8,000

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Recorded deaths from the coronavirus surpassed 8,000 in the U.S. on Saturday afternoon, per Johns Hopkins data. The death toll in the U.S. has risen over 1,000 every day for the past four days, since April 1.

The big picture: As expected, COVID-19 death tolls are rising in the U.S. The CDC is recommending Americans wear face coverings in public to help stop the spread, marking a significant change in messaging from the Trump administration.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 2 hours ago - Health

World coronavirus updates: Spain tracks more cases than Italy

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens and confirmed plus presumptive cases from the CDC

Spain overtook Italy in its number of coronavirus cases on Saturday. The global death toll has surpassed 62,000, per Johns Hopkins data.

The latest: About half the planet's population is on lockdown amid the coronavirus crisis. Fatalities are exponentially increasing across Europe, with roughly half of deaths worldwide located in Italy and Spain.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 2 hours ago - Health