UPDATED: May 11, 2021 16:21 IST
Ear 1, Nothing’s first product ever since being founded in October 2020, is set to launch in June. Carl Pei’s new venture has been teasing the launch of its first product in summer since March.
Ex-OnePlus co-founder Pei formally announced Nothing in late January and confirmed that the company is based in London. However, the company has been on a hiring spree in the last few weeks and trying to get people on board in different locations, including London, Stockholm, Delhi and Shenzhen.
Going by Nothing’s Concept 1 design revealed in March, we can expect Ear 1 truly wireless earphones to sport a semi-transparent design and come with cues from a grandmother’s tobacco pipe.
In less than a year of existence, Carl Pei’s Nothing also bought the one-time smartphone brand Essential in February this year. Nothing is now the sole-owner of Essential, and this very much hints how we might see the company’s portfolio include smartphones in the future. But for now, the focus is on earphones.
Nothing: The journey so far
After being founded in October 2020, Carl Pei took some time to sort things out, including raising funding for the new venture. In January 2021, Carl Pei, CEO and founder of Nothing, formally announced the brand and the identity.
In December 2020, Nothing raised seed financing of $7 million from notable tech leaders. The company was always in the mindset of releasing its first smart device in the first half of 2021, and now as we approach, the company has indeed confirmed that Ear 1 will launch in June.
In February this year, Nothing raised a whopping $15 million in a Series A funding round which was led by GV (formerly Google Ventures). With the help of new funding, Nothing planned team expansion, investment in R&D, and other crucial steps towards launching the first product.
Carl Pei’s Nothing got big names to back it and includes the likes of investors such as Tony Fadell, Casey Neistat, Kevin Lin, Steve Huffman, Paddy Cosgrave, Kunal Shah and Josh Buckley.
The next move from Carl Pei was a blast for Nothing, and it helped the company start off its dream of building a community. In February, Nothing opened up its community to invest in the company.
Nothing said it would allow community members who wanted to join Pei in his new venture journey to invest a total of $1.5 million at the same valuation as Series A funding with GV. The company received registrations from over 20,000 people who signed up for early access with a registered interest of close to $30 million in total.
Soon after, Pei announced teenage engineering as a founding partner of the company, teenage engineering, a Stockholm-based company known for its unique designs and work in the audio segment.
The last update from the company came in March when the brand showcased its first prototype design called Concept 1. The semi-transparent design with a tobacco pipe-inspired body looked unique and is likely to be an inspiration behind Ear 1, the company’s first truly wireless earphones.
Carl Pei has repetitively said that the Ear 1 is just the start, and Nothing will be launching an ecosystem of products that can interact with each other and come with a simple UI.
With the launch of Ear 1 true wireless earphones, Carl Pei’s new venture Nothing will take on the likes of Apple, Samsung, Sony, and even OnePlus in the truly wireless earphones segment.