More than $100 million was used to develop Essential's first products.
Updated 6:51 PM — Following Bloomberg's report, Andy Rubin has since taken to Twitter with the following message: We always have multiple products in development at the same time and we embrace canceling some in favor of the ones we think will be bigger hits. We are putting all of our efforts towards our future, game-changing products, which include mobile and home products."
Per Bloomberg's report —
The startup has hired Credit Suisse Group AG to advise on a potential sale and has received interest from at least one suitor, the people said. Essential is now actively shopping itself to potential suitors, one of the people said.
Playground Global, Rubin's incubator that was used to launch Essential, is said to have raised around $300 million from the likes of Amazon, Tencent Holdings Inc., and Redpoint Ventures. Of that $300 million, one-third of it ($100 million) was used just for developing Essential's first round of products. Considering we never saw more than renders of the Essential Home, it's safe to say that the majority of that $100 million was focused on the first Essential Phone and its 360-degree camera attachment.
As Bloomberg continues —
Current discussions are focused on a sale of the entire company, including its patent portfolio, hardware products like the original smartphone, an upcoming smart home device and a camera attachment for the phone, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the talks are private. Essential's engineering talent, which includes those hired from Apple Inc. and Alphabet Inc.'s Google, would likely be part of a deal. The company hasn't yet made a final decision on a sale, the people said.
Essential has yet to comment on this report, and while a new buyer could come in and pick the company up out of this rut, there's no way of painting this as good news. It's unclear if Essential will continue to support the existing Essential Phone, but we'll be sure to let you know as these details come to light.