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Nothing, Carl Pei’s smartphone startup closes $96m to bring us more phones

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Nothing, the London-based consumer technology brand, has raised a $96M fundraising round led by Highland Europe, with participation from existing investors GV (Google Ventures), EQT Ventures and C Capital, alongside house music supergroup Swedish House Mafia.

This brings Nothing’s total funding to $250M – just as company crosses 1.5M products sold with over over 450 people across seven offices worldwide.

“In just over two years, we’ve assembled one of the strongest teams in the industry and sold over 1.5 million devices worldwide,” said Carl Pei, Nothing CEO and Co-founder. “It’s clear that there’s real demand for an innovative challenger in the consumer tech industry, and with this new round of financing, we’ve never been better positioned to realize our vision to make tech fun again.”

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With Nothing Phone (2) set for launch in July 2023, Nothing’s Phone (1), which was launched in 2022 was regarded as one of the most anticipated tech launches in recent times and showcased in Time Magazine’s prestigious “Best Inventions of 2022” list for its innovative smartphone design. In 2023, Phone (1) received the renowned Red Dot Design Award, along with the rest of Nothing’s current product portfolio, including the true wireless audio devices Ear (2) and Ear (Stick).

Phone (2) features a lower carbon footprint than its predecessor as a result of the company’s ongoing sustainability initiatives.

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Nothing wants to bridge the gap between the company and its users – driving product innovation by delving deeper into consumer insights through its community feedback programs. To further support this goal, Nothing has held two community financing rounds and attracted over 8,000 private investors. Additionally, the company has appointed a community member as a Board Observer, ensuring that user interests remain at the forefront at all times.

Highland Europe, a London-based venture capital firm focusing on high-potential technology companies, invested based on Nothing’s success to date and future potential. Partner Tony Zappalà led the recent round and will be joining Nothing’s board.

“We are thrilled to be partnering with Carl and his team, who share our vision of bridging technology with the younger generation,” added Tony Zappalà, Partner at Highland Europe. “In an industry as challenging as this, it has been quite some time since a new company of this scale and ambition has reached this stage, given the difficulty and complexity of surviving in such a competitive environment. We firmly believe that Nothing has something truly distinctive to offer, coupled with an exceptional team. We are enthusiastic about supporting Nothing as they take on the consumer tech giants and challenge the prevailing norms.”

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Key Specs for Nothing (1)

Display

  • 6.55” flexible OLED display
    Corning® Gorilla® Glass
    HDR10+
    10-bit colour depth
    2400×1080-pixel resolution at 402 ppi
    1,000,000:1 contrast ratio
    500 nits brightness; 1200 nits peak brightness
    60Hz – 120Hz adaptive refresh rate
    240Hz touch sampling rate
    Haptic touch motors

Capacity

  • 8 RAM + 128 GB memory
  • 8 RAM + 256 GB memory
  • 12 RAM + 256 GB memory

In The Box

  • Nothing Phone (1)
    Type-C cable
    Safety information and warranty card
    Screen protector (pre-applied)
    SIM tray ejector

Dimensions

  • Height: 159.2 mm
    Width: 75.8 mm
    Depth: 8.3 mm
    Weight: 193.5 g

Main Camera

  • 50 MP
    Sony IMX766 sensor
    ƒ/1.88 aperture
    1/1.56” sensor size
    1 µm pixel size
    Focal length: 24 mm
    OIS and EIS image stabilisation
    Panorama Night Mode
    Portrait Mode
    Beauty Mode
    Bokeh
    HDR
    Google Filter
    Scene Detection
    Live Photo
    Document Mode
    Night Mode
    Extreme Night Mode
    Night Video
    Expert Mode
    Panorama
    Slo-Mo (120 fps)
    Time-lapse

Ultra wide

  • 50 MP
    Samsung JN1 sensor
    ƒ/2.2 aperture
    1/2.76” sensor size
    EIS image stabilisation
    114° field of view
    Night Mode
    Macro (4 cm)
    HDR

Front Camera

  • 16 MP
    Sony IMX471 sensor
    ƒ/2.45 aperture
    1/3.1” sensor size
    Live Photo
    HD Portrait
    Google Filter
    Beauty Mode
    Night Mode
    1080p video recording at 30 fps

Video

  • 4K recording at 30 fps
    1080p recording at 30 or 60 fps
    Live HDR at 30 fps
    Slo-mo (120 fps)
    Night Mode (720p/1080p at 30 fps)
    OIS and EIS image stabilisation

Battery

  • 4500 mAh battery size
    33W PD3.0 wired charging: full charge in 70 mins
    15W Qi wireless charging with dual charging support: full charge in 120 mins
    5W reverse charging
  • Only use with chargers compatible with Quick Charge 4.0.

Sensors

  • In-display Fingerprint Sensor
    Accelerometer
    Electronic Compass
    Gyroscope
    Ambient Light Sensor
    Proximity Sensor
    Sensor Core
    Front RGB sensor

Audio

  • 3 high definition mics
    Dual stereo speakers

Chipset

  • Snapdragon™ 778G+
    6nm TSMC process
    1xA78 2.5GHz+3xA78 2.4GHz+4xA55 1.8GHz
    Adreno 642L GPU
    Hexagon 770 AI processor

Splash, Water & Dust Resistance

  • IP53

Memory

  • RAM: 8/12GB LPDDR5
    Storage: 128/256GB UFS 3.1

Face & Finger Unlock

  • Unlock Phone (1) using fingerprint or facial recognition. Works with face coverings.

SIM card

  • Dual SIM

Network & Connectivity

  • Gigabit LTE with 4×4 MIMO
    Gigabit 5G dual Mode (NSA & SA) with 4×4 MIMO
    5G NR*: Bands n1, n3, n5, n7, n8, n20, n28, n38, n40, n41, n77, n78
    4G LTE: Bands 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 12, 17, 18, 19, 20, 26, 28, 32, 34, 38, 39, 40, 41,66
    3G UMTS (WCDMA): bands 1,2,4,5,6,8,19
    2G GSM : 850/900/1800/1900
    Wi-Fi : Wi-Fi 4/5/6 and 802.11 a/b/g/, dual-band, Wi-Fi Direct, hotspot
    Bluetooth 5.2
    NFC enabled with Google Pay support
    GPS : with A-GPS. Up to dual-band: GLONASS (1), BDS (2), GALILEO (1), QZSS (1)
    *5G connectivity may vary based on regional availability and local operator support.

Software Support

  • 3 years of Android updates
    4 years of security patches every 2 months

Ports

  • USB-C

Multimedia

  • Audio Supported Formats
    Playback: MP3, AAC, AAC+, WMA, AMR-NB, AMR-WB, WAV, FLAC, APE, OGG, MID, M4A, IMY, AC3, EAC3, EAC3-JOC, AC4
    Recording: WAV, AAC, AMR
    Video Supported Formats
    Playback: MKV, MOV, MP4, H.265 (HEVC), AVI, WMV, TS, 3GP, FLV, WEBM
    Recording: MP4
    Image Supported Formats
    Playback: JPEG, PNG, BMP, GIF, WEB, HEIF, HEIC, DNG
    Output: JPEG, DNG
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James Musoba
James Musoba
Studying Africa's startup and technology scene. I always look forward to discovering new exciting inventions and vibrant entrepreneurs.

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