Andy Rubin

Andy Rubin, the creator of Android who just launched his new gadget company Essential this week, would’ve had a lot more money to get things moving if it hadn’t been for Apple.

As the
Wall Street Journal reported in March
, Essential was on the verge of landing $100 million in funding from SoftBank’s Vision Fund, a $100 billion pool of money aimed at investing in technology companies. But the deal fell through due to a conflict of interest.

In an on-stage
interview at the Recode Code conference on Tuesday night
, Rubin essentially confirmed the WSJ story, saying that a conflict of interest with one of the Vision Fund’s contributors caused the deal to fall through. He said the conflict would’ve put Essential in a position where a competitor owned part of his startup, and neither party wanted that.

The likely competitor Rubin was referring to? Apple. This year, Apple announced it would contribute $1 billion to the Vision Fund. (The WSJ report said the deal fell through over SoftBank’s “close” relationship with Apple.) And since Rubin is
pitching his company as the next major gadget company since Apple
, thanks to his
new smartphone
and suite of gizmos he plans to build around it, that just didn’t fly.

But it sounds like Essential has plenty of cash. Rubin’s own investment firm Playground Global contributed to a $30 million round of funding. And Rubin implied during Thursday’s interview that Essential has tens of millions more
from other investors
, although he didn’t disclose how much he has raised.

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