Android co-founder raises $48 million to help startups make hardware

Android co-founder raises $48 million to help startups make hardware
A display of Android-powered tablets in Japan. Andy Rubin, who recently left Google to form his own hardware-focused company, was the co-founder of Android. (Koji Sasahara / Associated Press)

The former Google executive who co-founded Android, Andy Rubin, recently raised $48 million for his new firm, Playground Global, according to a regulatory filing.

While the SEC filing does not list investors, the Wall Street Journal reports that Google, Hewlett-Packard Co. and electronics manufacturer Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. (also known as Foxconn, the Taiwanese company that manufactures devices including the iPhone to the PlayStation 4) are among those who have put money behind the firm.

Rubin started Playground Global late last year after leaving his high profile role at Google in November. He described the new firm as an incubator for electronic hardware devices, and recently said it would provide support and offer advice to tech start-ups making those devices.

The investors were chosen in part for their strategic value to new hardware companies, he said. For example, Hon Hai can help Playground start-ups manufacture products at large volume, while Hewlett-Packard can assist with global distribution.

"Our aim is to free the creators to create," Rubin told the Journal. "By bringing these partners to the table we can remove many of the roadblocks of bringing a great idea to market."

Twitter: @traceylien