New York Times:
Once considered one of Silicon Valley’s most promising hardware technology start-ups, Essential had raised $330 million in outside funding because of the track record of Mr. Rubin, who is widely credited with creating Google’s Android smartphone software.
Essential was also dogged by news about Mr. Rubin and the circumstances of his departure from Google. The New York Times reported in 2018 that Google had paid Mr. Rubin a $90 million exit package after claims of sexual misconduct with an employee were deemed credible. Mr. Rubin has denied the claims.
From the Essential blog:
In October, we introduced Project GEM, a new mobile experience that our hardware, software and cloud teams have been building and testing for the past few years. Our vision was to invent a mobile computing paradigm that more seamlessly integrated with people’s lifestyle needs. Despite our best efforts, we’ve now taken Gem as far as we can and regrettably have no clear path to deliver it to customers. Given this, we have made the difficult decision to cease operations and shutdown Essential.
An amazing story. Rubin and company burned through $330 million in other people’s money, with nothing to show for it. Poof. It’s gone.