Carl Pei's Nothing company has Google's backing, and it's building an 'ecosystem' of devices

Nothing will release headphones this spring and other devices later this year, the OnePlus founder told Bloomberg.

Katie Collins Senior European Correspondent
Katie a UK-based news reporter and features writer. Officially, she is CNET's European correspondent, covering tech policy and Big Tech in the EU and UK. Unofficially, she serves as CNET's Taylor Swift correspondent. You can also find her writing about tech for good, ethics and human rights, the climate crisis, robots, travel and digital culture. She was once described a "living synth" by London's Evening Standard for having a microchip injected into her hand.
Katie Collins
2 min read

Carl Pei's mystery company Nothing.


Two weeks ago, OnePlus founder Carl Pei officially launched his new venture -- a consumer electronics company called Nothing. It might not sound like much so far, but Nothing is backed by GV (previously Google Ventures), which invested $15 million in the company. This entirely financed the company's latest funding round, according to a press release issued Tuesday.

GV is the investment arm of Google's parent company Alphabet, which has previously invested in companies including Uber and Slack. GV is now the latest addition to a list of prominent backers financing Nothing, including Reddit CEO and co-founder Steve Huffman, Twitch co-founder Kevin Lin, Web Summit founder Paddy Cosgrave and YouTuber Casey Neistat.

This summer Nothing will release headphones -- its first consumer product. But Pei told Bloomberg in an interview that Nothing is also building "an ecosystem of smart devices," not just in the audio category, that will all talk to each other. The design and the actual details of these products are still top secret, but Pei, who left phone maker OnePlus last year, likely has something exciting up his sleeve to get backing for a new company entering the competitive consumer electronics market.

"Carl Pei is a seasoned entrepreneur with marketing, hardware, and distribution experience that is key to bringing new devices to market," said Tom Hulme, generalpPartner at GV. "His vision for smart devices is compelling, and we have high confidence that with Carl's global mindset, the Nothing team will have a meaningful impact on the market for consumer technology."

When Pei launched Nothing in late January, he described the company as "a giant reset button" for tech. In a statement, Pei said he planned to "aggressively" grow the company, "in particular our R&D and design capabilities, to realize our mission of removing barriers between people and technology." 

The company's website is home to some cryptic text that gives us next to nothing to go on about what more to expect. It's all very mysterious -- consider us well and truly on tenterhooks.

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