What just happened? Word surfaced in mid-October that OnePlus co-founder Carl Pei had left the company he helped create weeks earlier in order to start his own venture. This week, Pei let us in on the next chapter of his professional career. There's not a ton to go on just yet, but he does have the support of some pretty notable tech investors.
Pei has launched a new brand, a London-based consumer technology company called Nothing. The startup raised a $7 million round of seed funding in December 2020 from notable tech players including iPod inventor Tony Fadell, Reddit CEO Steve Huffman and Twitch co-founder Kevin Lin, among others.
So, what exactly is Nothing? Well, we aren’t sure yet.
“It’s been a while since anything interesting happened in tech,” Pei said. “It is time for a fresh breeze of change.”
Elaborating a bit further, Pei said Nothing’s mission is to remove barriers between technology and people to create a seamless digital future. “We believe that the best technology is beautiful, yet natural and intuitive to use. When sufficiently advanced, it should fade into the background and feel like nothing.”
Nothing said it plans to release its first smart devices in the first half of 2021. Outside of this tease, however, we don’t really have much else to go on at the moment.
Pei isn’t the first major tech player to try their hand at a solo venture. Android co-founder Andy Rubin did something similar a few years back but ultimately, the project fizzled. Others, like Elon Musk, have fared far better.