Tencent, Amazon invest $300 million in Essential, boost company’s evaluation to $1 billion

Up until recently, Essential Products Inc., had very little going for itself – a company that had lost most of its key executives, a delayed launch as well as very little communication among its personnel or its customers regarding the delivery. Now, there seems to be a bit of hope shining on the company.

Andy Rubin, the co-creator of Android platform had announced its Essential Phone back in May this year

According to a report from The Wall Street Journal, the company is now $300 million richer as it gets ready to battle the flagships of Apple and Samsung in the coming months. The company was able to amass such a huge investment through the combined efforts of the Chinese internet company Tencent Holdings Ltd and Amazon Inc. It was also revealed that the company will be tying up with Best Buy and Amazon to launch its phone in the US. Essential has been able to convinced the two big companies to trust its product and only time will tell with return on investment will be worth it.

With Amazon as one of the key investors it will be apparent that Alexa will play a major role in the development of the Essential phone, or future devices that the company may make. Essential’s president, Niccolo De Masi did mention that the Essential Phone would be released sometime in the next few weeks. The company is also expected to release its own smart speaker that will be reportedly featuring Alexa as well. The Home speaker will be able to control music, answer questions and manage tasks. The speaker will also be devoid of “boxes, tubes or strange lights.” The device is also said to automatically pair with devices to make the functionality and usability easier for the consumer, all thanks to the proprietary Ambient OS.

When it does make it to market with its first smartphone, De Masi claimed that the company will be expecting low 1-digit million sales for the first year of its existence. The company’s total evaluation, thanks to the extra $300 million that it has now been invested with, rounds up to about $1 billion. Considering that the phone will feature a screen that is similarly designed to the iPhone 8’s, it will be interesting to see how well the two will compare in terms of application and execution of their respective screens’ features.

Currently being exclusive only to its own website and a single carrier for sale unlocked, whether the phone will be able to match the expected sales targets seems a bit of a long shot.