The tech startup founded by Android c0-creator Andy Rubin, Essential, may have lost a $100 million USD investment from SoftBank.
Despite a months-long effort, the deal may go awry awry due to a conflict of interest. SoftBank’s CEO Masayoshi Son is planning to launch the Vision Fund investment group with $100 billion later this year and Apple is committing $1 billion to the fund. Anonymous sources cited by The Wall Street Journal say Son felt that dedicating $100 million to Rubin’s startup had the potential to put SoftBank on the outs with Apple.
In addition, SoftBank’s ownership of ARM could have been a factor. It’s possible that Son wanted to avoid putting off other companies that use ARM like Samsung and LG by investing in a competitor like Essential.
It’s not clear whether Rubin’s Essential was counting on an investment from SoftBank, though some reports suspect that the tech startup has secured $100 million in funding from unnamed investors.
MobileSyrup previously reported that Rubin is leading a 40-person team made up of former Google and Apple engineers while it finalizes its first customer-facing device, a high-end smartphone designed to compete with the likes of Apple, Samsung and Google.