Andy Rubin, the creator behind Android that left Google late last year, just raised $US242 million for his venture fund Playground Ventures, according to an SEC filing discovered earlier this week by website PE Hub. He hopes to raise $US300 million.
Earlier this week it came out that he’d raised $US48 million for another fund called Playground Global, which will focus on providing support to young companies creating hardware devices.
The managing directors will be Matt Hershenson, who worked with Rubin at Danger — the company he started before Android, which built the Sidekick, one of the first popular smartphones for consumers — and joined him at Google to work on Android. The other managing partners are WebTV co-founder Bruce Leak and WebTV fellow Peter Barrett. Rubin worked at WebTV in the mid 1990s.
At the same time, Rubin will be returning to Redpoint Ventures, where he incubated Android, as a venture partner and will spend at least one day at the firm to research potential investments in tech companies. Redpoint was one of the first investors in Playground Global.
This is the most we’ve heard of Rubin’s future plans since he left Google in October 2014. Rubin worked at the search engine giant since it bought his startup Android in 2005, but he left the Android division in 2013 to lead the robotics department.
When Rubin left Google, he said he was going to start his own incubator for hardware startups, but didn’t provide any details until earlier this week.
But based on his history and what we’ve heard from people who have worked with him, it sounds like the perfect move for Rubin, who worked at Redpoint early in his career before creating Android.
“I think Andy is probably the best person in the world to take something from zero to one,” one person who previously worked with Rubin said last year.
“He’s an entrepreneur. He likes to think fast and innovate,” another person who also worked with Rubin years ago said in an interview prior to Rubin’s exit at Google. “I think that at some point, Android got so big that it’s not necessarily that same challenge. And I think he still wants to have some more challenges and make some more great things happen.”