Andy Rubin, the former Google whiz who parted ways after 9 year in the company to run and support the tech-startups he started has raised $48 million in equity financing, according to regulatory filing. He was the creator of the Android mobile operating system and headed the company’s nascent efforts in robotics.
Los Angeles based Rubin’s company Playground Global investors include Googlem Hewlett-Packard Co, Hon Hai Precision Industry Co and other technology companies. This hardware focused incubator will not invest in start-ups but will stakes in return for its support, the report said.
Rubin’s startup lab functions slightly different from the most startup labs. Generally, firms offer money and resources in exchange for equity or stock in whatever startup they are working with. But Playground Global will offer advice and inroads in manufacturing to the budding companies in exchange of equity. A Google spokesperson confirmed the investment, but declined to comment further.
Silicon Valley being the hot spot for physical hardware companies after the software and Internet companies started driving the market, Rubin feels it as the good place to publicize his project. Smart watch makers like Pebble, home-video surveillance company Dropcam and smart thermostat maker Nest have made many tech giants turn heads, inspiring competition and acquisitions.
The rise of Playground and other similar firms that focus on hardware like PCH International and HAXLR8R is possible by the falling prices of chips and advancements in computing power.
That’s not all. Rubin has got much more in his plate. He is also now a venture partner at Redpoint Ventures. Founded in 1999, Redpoint has over 300 investments in its portfolio that includes names like Nextdoor, Path, Sonos, Stripe, Twilio and even Android-based Android competitor Cyanogen. It is also an investor in Rubin’s Playground incubator.