Essential Products has raised $330 million (Roughly Rs. 1,921 crores) in its new funding round. It also has signed up retailers and distributors. The signed up retailers are Best Buy, Amazon, and Sprint in the U.S. while in Canada they have signed up Telus. The company said that the funding round was lead by Access Technology Ventures. The company with this round of investment has gained strategic partners like Foxconn, Amazon, and Tencent Holdings. Amazon invested with its Alexa Fund along with the previous investors Redpoint Ventures and Playground Global. Essential Products President, Niccolo De Masi in an interview said, that they will be announcing the release date of the phone next week.
Many industry analysts have said that the timing of the release of the Essential Phone would be extremely critical as if it was delayed too much, it would end up competing with this year’s flagships from companies like Apple and Samsung. Both Samsung and Apple are expected to release their new offerings this September.
The Essential Phone that will be sold via Amazon and Best Buy will be the unlocked version of the product, but Sprint and Telus are being expected to sell the device along with a contract. Reuters contacted Sprint but they didn’t comment. It is also being assumed that due to there being two investors from Asia, Essential wants to sell its device worldwide. However, Essential is focusing on making its name in the United States and Canada before expanding to other markets like India and China.
Essential Products also stated that the production of the smartphone was limited due to the usage of the unusual materials like titanium and ceramic, whereas most of the smartphones today use plastic and aluminium. The company also said that within the next five to 10 years they will have as big a footprint as companies like Apple and Samsung.