The creator of Android has launched a start-up incubator that will provide support to tech startups that make technology hardware products. Andy Rubin, globally recognized for his leadership in building Google's massive Android mobile business, has launched Playground Global LLC to provide support and advice for tech startups that are working on tech devices for consumers or companies, according to a report by the Wall Street Journal.
The company told the WSJ that it has raised $48 million in equity financing from investors, including Google, Hewlett-Packard Co, Hon Hai Precision Industry Co, and other technology companies.
Playground Global will not invest in startups, but will take stakes in return for its support. Like other incubators, the company will provide support for tech startups and entrepreneurs in areas such as financing, manufacturing and distribution leaving the startup founders free to focus their energies on developing innovative ideas and products.
"Our aim is to free the creators to create. By bringing these partners to the table we can remove many of the roadblocks of bringing a great idea to market," Rubin told the WSJ.
Rubin told the WSJ that the investors were chosen in part for their strategic values to new companies. Hon Hai, also known as Foxconn, will help Playground startups with manufacturing in large volumes; HP will help with global distribution, Redpoint will advise startups on financing while Tencent, Google and Segate will be cloud partners.
Rubin has also teamed up with investment firm Redpoint as a venture partner. Rubin will assist Redpoint in choosing companies to back. Redpoint, which also became Playground’s first investor, will provide expertise on financing.
“Andy is a perfect complement to our team at Redpoint helping founders of mobile, marketplace, SaaS and infrastructure companies achieve their ambitions. There isn’t a founder out there that won’t benefit from Andy’s ideas, experience and industry connections”, said Redpoint in a company statement.
Rubin headed Android from 2005 - 2013 and was also head of head of Google’s nascent robotics effort when he left Google in October last year.