Follow Slashdot blog updates by subscribing to our blog RSS feed

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Businesses The Almighty Buck Hardware Technology

Andy Rubin's Essential Is Now Valued at Over a Billion Dollars Without Shipping a Single Phone (theverge.com) 75

An anonymous reader shares a report: Essential, the new phone startup from Android founder Andy Rubin, is now a unicorn, according to reports from over the weekend. If you're not up to date on the parlance of Silicon Valley, a unicorn is a company that's valued at over $1 billion dollars, which is no small feat in today's market. This title is even more impressive, given that Essential has yet to ship a single device to consumers. According to a report, Foxconn's FIH Mobile filing for a $3 million investment in Essential for around 0.25 percent of the fledgling phone company revealed Essential's new unicorn status with a valuation of around $1.2 billion.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Andy Rubin's Essential Is Now Valued at Over a Billion Dollars Without Shipping a Single Phone

Comments Filter:
  • by Thelasko ( 1196535 ) on Monday August 14, 2017 @12:26PM (#55009585) Journal
    I have a much better startup idea than this. Wireless Plumbing! Think about it!

    I figure it should be worth at least twice as much as Essential.
    • by zlives ( 2009072 )

      well.. thats worth... oops used the wrong word there
      that deserves a market cap of atleast 20 billion dollars.

      • well.. thats worth... oops used the wrong word there that deserves a market cap of atleast 20 billion dollars.

        With a few more buzzwords I bet I can get it to $100 billion!

        Cloud composting here I come!

        • by zlives ( 2009072 )

          i think the word you are looking for is Hyper-Converged-Cloud-Wireless-plumbing and composting oh and tesla

    • by ad454 ( 325846 )

      My idea is even better, "Tubeless Plumbing", worth twice as much as wireless plumbing!

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]

      Using Quantum Teleportation. it eliminates the need pesky water and sewage pipes, which is exceptionally convenient for rural and mobile homes.

      We just need to invent the star trek transporters, but that is just a minor detail our investors don't need to worry about.

      And since it won't be used for living tissue we don't need to worry about biological risks or transporter clones.

      • My idea is worth twice as much as Tubeless Plumbing, I call it Sanitation. I won't go in to the scientific and engineering principles behind it, but it's based on the same wildly successful technologies made popular by the Roman Empire.

        Rome. You have to pay me billions at least.

        • My idea is worth twice as much as Tubeless Plumbing, I call it Sanitation.

          Nobody will invest in that. It sounds too old. You have to jazz it up. Make people think it's really bleeding edge. At least call it sanitation 2.0 Maybe call it universal cross platform scalable sanitation framework 2.0 That's gotta be $100 billion right there.

          Think of the SYNERGY!

      • My idea is even better, "Tubeless Plumbing", worth twice as much as wireless plumbing!

        Not enough buzzwords. Maybe you should call it virtual plumbing instead. I figure the word virtual in the title has to be worth +$10billion VC at least.

      • The Simpson's did it first. https://www.youtube.com/watch?... [youtube.com]
      • Don't worry about teleportation. Just say that you are using the Cloud to deliver water autonomously.

    • by jiriw ( 444695 )

      You do have figured out how to facilitate roaming, don't you? It should definitely not do to have to manually connect when switching to a more suitable access point. Certainly if the product is to be used in vivo. Also, do you handle the energy needs through composting? We do need green certification nowadays. The use of fossil fuels is a no-go pretty much everywhere except the good old U.S. of A. and there should be enough bio-methane present to at least partly fulfil the energy needs. What about storage t

    • by paiute ( 550198 ) on Monday August 14, 2017 @10:26PM (#55014407)

      I have a much better startup idea than this. Wireless Plumbing!

      Hell no. I hold the patent on delivering shit in discrete packets.

    • The OP points out that they haven't shipped anything, but I've seen prototypes of their first hardware and it looks pretty cool. I can't say much because of an NDA, but I can reveal that it's white, cat-shaped, and will read barcodes.
  • And yet, there are still people who say we aren't in the middle of another IT bubble.

    • I don't know how to prevent that one, either. I've been thinking the next recession is late-2017/early-2018; there is no way to get any mitigating policy in place by then, so it's coming.

      I did design policy specifically to let the recessions hit, but prevent them from doing so damned much damage. I've been sitting on it for 4 years; that's why I'm running for Congress. It's not that anyone's told me there are problems with my plans; it's that nobody's even listening. I keep trying to get access to be

      • I don't know how to prevent that one, either.

        You can prevent it by shorting overvalued tech stocks. If enough people do that, the bubble will deflate. If you are right, you will not only prevent a burst, but you will make money in the process. Of course, if you are wrong, and there is no bubble, you will lose money, but you seem very certain that you are smarter than the market, so why worry?

        • The stock market is run by perceptions. You're talking about a perception shift to drive the market down, which is what the stock market experiences in a bust.

          The problem is the stock market isn't the economy.

          We have these businesses fueled by more and more venture capital, big loans, and the like, where people are giving them money to go be useless in the belief that they'll return money. In 2000, this resulted in a lot of rich folk hemmoraging money and taking big losses, only to come out major share

          • Then: the stock market shits itself in terror.

            ... and the short sellers make a fortune.

            So if you really think we are due for "Great Bursting 2.0", then put your money where your mouth is and get rich. Then come back here and post a picture of your yacht. Good luck.

            • Timing is the hard part of shorting the market. It's easy to place a passive bet on the market rising - just buy shares. Alas there's no equivalent method to place a passive short bet.

            • They're called "short" positions for a reason. Holding short for months at a time is a good way to get trashed.

              Even holding short ETFs for a while can be damaging over the course of the market trading levelly. SPY ends up the same price you bought it months ago, but SH or SPXU end up down by 10% or 30%. You really have to catch it when the market is just about to go, not when you're starting to feel like it's going to be a bad time to be in the market some time in the next year.

              As impressive as it mi

      • Meanwhile the Republicans are trying to rip out a lot of protections to prevent the financial sector from harming itself due to it's own greed. The world recently saw what that does with the GFC when both parties were relaxing the rules (starting with Clinton). It's just the Republicans are trying to do it all at once and skipping the whole waiting a couple of generations to forget how bad things were step.

        • The republicans are attacking Social Security too and it's pissing people off; and yes, you nailed it with Clinton and the Glass-Stegall repeal. Do you know what these things have in common? They're all protections built by or in following of FDR's recovery policies.

          Then we've got the far-right wingnuts--the crazies who are attacking McMaster at the moment. I'm no fan of the current administration, but a quick look over McMaster's history shows military officer experience in real wars, as well as a fr

    • by swb ( 14022 )

      Is it a bubble, or just a sign that there's so little organic growth and so much cash on the sidelines that people are willing to invest in anything that might provide better returns that T-bills?

      • When you toss $4 trillion into the system just to keep the system going because it's already overvalued - you get this kind of crazy valuation. That money is going to go somewhere...
    • Can we *please* get another Fucked Company setup and running.

      There has got to be some gold in the internal e-mails going around some of these startups.

  • It wants its tech bubble back.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      That bubble popped and is long gone.

      This is an entirely new bubble. It's full of new ideas like "virtual" and "ICO". It even has unicorns; real breathing unicorns! Totally different from your lost bubble. See?

      • by TWX ( 665546 )

        And Zombo.com will be here to coach us through it.

        I hope that they manage to get html5zombo.com to the main zombo.com site and get the color spinning thing working better like it did back in 2000. That's literally the only change I'd make, just to make it function like it originally did.

      • That bubble popped and is long gone.

        This is an entirely new bubble.

        How many bubbles can we expect to see before the subject finally drowns?

  • by LynnwoodRooster ( 966895 ) on Monday August 14, 2017 @12:29PM (#55009627) Journal

    a unicorn is a company that's valued at over $1 billion dollars, which is no small feat in today's market

    Apparently, it now is...

    • by Gr8Apes ( 679165 )

      a unicorn is a company that's valued at over $1 billion dollars, which is no small feat in today's market

      Apparently, it now is...

      "unicorn" is an appropriate adjective to describe an "imaginary mythical beautiful" thing like a company with no product or assets with any valuation at all.

      • a unicorn is a company that's valued at over $1 billion dollars, which is no small feat in today's market

        Apparently, it now is...

        "unicorn" is an appropriate adjective to describe an "imaginary mythical beautiful" thing like a company with no product or assets with any valuation at all.

        Wrong.

        Fucking Bullshit is the appropriate adjective, since "unicorn" has done nothing to prevent idiots from investing millions of dollars into shitware, welcoming the next .bomb nightmare.

        Fucking pathetic that history teaches no one.

        • by Gr8Apes ( 679165 )

          "unicorn" is an appropriate adjective to describe an "imaginary mythical beautiful" thing like a company with no product or assets with any valuation at all.

          Wrong.

          Fucking Bullshit is the appropriate adjective, since "unicorn" has done nothing to prevent idiots from investing millions of dollars into shitware, welcoming the next .bomb nightmare.

          Fucking pathetic that history teaches no one.

          Angry much? Have you petted your unicorn lately or collected any unobtainium?

          • Angry much? Have you petted your unicorn lately or collected any unobtainium?

            Yes you're right. We should all be happy happy joy joy when a lack of common sense and unfathomable greed creates another .bomb that will decimate the industry.

            Perhaps you should ask others if 2001 wasn't "fun" enough for you. One hardly has to pet a unicorn or invest in unobtainium to feel that pain.

            • by Gr8Apes ( 679165 )

              I think you misread my condescending sarcasm as it relates to this particular company being valued by some moron at over $1B with no discernible assets or revenue flow to back such a valuation. A unicorn has no value as it has no substance, nothing more than wishful thinking.

              As for a .bomb that will decimate the industry, well, there's no denying a crash is imminent merely because valuations are too high with no corrections, and history shows us that the sooner such correction happens, the better off ever

  • Fair market value (Score:4, Informative)

    by FeelGood314 ( 2516288 ) on Monday August 14, 2017 @12:40PM (#55009723)
    Foxconn is not at arms length from Essential. They didn't only get 0.25% of the company. The 3 million dollars will go straight back to them for manufacturing parts of the phone. If someone completely unrelated to Essential paid 3 million and they didn't get anything else other than the stock then you could say the company was worth 1.2 billion.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    that money is fiction, and people with better bullshitting skills can get arbitrary amounts of it?

    • by TWX ( 665546 )

      Well, Android itself has proven wildly successful and it underpins the majority of cell phones sold today, so while a certain amount of bullshitting is necessary, it usually has to be backed-up with some demonstration that success isn't impossible.

    • It's not fiction, it's just delayed/indirect bartering. Vaguely analogous to the many-person organ-swap rings that are being done nowadays.

      Money is just the placeholder so I don't have to go fix farmer John's computer and get a gallon of milk in return.

  • by Tenebrousedge ( 1226584 ) <.tenebrousedge. .at. .gmail.com.> on Monday August 14, 2017 @12:56PM (#55009839)

    If this site [statista.com] can be trusted, the global smartphone market is some 400 billion dollars annually. The total invested in Essential to date seems to be around 300 million [crunchbase.com], which is definitely real money, but not necessarily a shocking figure. Something like 30-50 billion of VC funding [techcrunch.com] gets thrown around on a quarterly basis. Andy Rubin has as good a chance as anyone to be able to deliver some value for that money, and he can probably be counted on to be able to put together a good team as well. If Uber can lose billions annually without anyone batting an eye then I don't know why these guys deserve the press, or why the "...without shipping a product" angle was necessary. Are we expecting that they're somehow less likely to do with the additional funding? Is there some part of bringing a smartphone to market that's expected to be quick, cheap, and easy?

    Apparently it's a slow news day.

  • by ErichTheRed ( 39327 ) on Monday August 14, 2017 @01:05PM (#55009915)

    In other news, AOL buys Time Warner, VA Linux has the largest first-day IPO price increase, and Pets.com announces free shipping on all 50 lb or larger bags of dog food...CEO says they'll "make it up in volume."

    Unless things get crazier than they are now, I see this bubble deflating more slowly. There are fewer crazy pointless IPOs (Twitter and Snapchat are notable exceptions.) The average investor isn't being pushed so hard to buy tech stocks, and there's less cheerleading on CNBC this time. So maybe we've learned something.

    It's amusing that one thing keeping this bubble inflated is the thing that I think we're going to take away from the bubble period and use...cloud computing. When a VC just has to cut a check to Amazon or Microsoft or Google instead of building a data center and buying network capacity, profitless startups can kick along for a lot longer. All that free capital can then be used to deck out a startup's hip trendy San Francisco office space with preschool furniture, free food and free massages for their employees.

    Make no mistake though -- there are going to be thousands of scrum masters, DevOps ninjas and JavaScript framework of the month coders looking for work as the field contracts. Not because they're bad (although I hear startups are hiring anyone who can fog a mirror and write code in Rust...) but because you just don't need as many superficially-skilled web developers to go around. Just like last time, the good people will find or keep work, although I'm sure a lot of people's lives will be upended while they look to escape startup-land.

    • by sl3xd ( 111641 )

      There are fewer crazy pointless IPOs (Twitter and Snapchat are notable exceptions.)

      IPO's are part of it, but there are companies who have sold stock for years that are insanely overvalued by admission of their own CEO (such as Tesla).

      I personally feel we've reached the point where investors are starting to believe their own hype, a practice which hasn't ended well in the past.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    This has GOT to be a sign that SV tech startups are egregiously overvalued and we're just waiting for the bubble to burst, right?

  • by petes_PoV ( 912422 ) on Monday August 14, 2017 @02:55PM (#55011043)

    a $3 million investment in Essential for around 0.25 percent of the fledgling phone company

    That only works on paper and is pretty much irrelevant in the real word. You can't scale up from a 0.25% transaction to expect the same amount of money for a 100% transaction (i.e. selling the company). So this definition of a "unicorn" doesn't hold up. And the paper valuation of the company based on this is bogus.

    If it did work, I would make an absolute packet by selling my brother a one-ten-millionth of a percent share in my company for $1 and then tell the world that I'm a billionaire (less $1).

    Though this sort of silliness goes a long way to explaining financial crashes.

Quark! Quark! Beware the quantum duck!

Working...