'F--- Apple': Nest founder Tony Fadell has a new VC firm and it already has drama with Apple

  • Tony Fadell started a new VC firm called Future Shape.
  • The VC firm is focused on seed funding for early-stage companies, and will give founders access to Fadell to aid in problem-solving.
  • One of the companies in Future Shape’s portfolio is reportedly feuding with Apple, causing Fadell to curse about his former employer.

Tony Fadell was one of the primary inventors behind the iPod and he cofounded Nest, which was sold to Google for billions. Now, he’s bringing his gold touch to the startup world with a new VC firm called “Future Shape.”

Future Shape, according to its website, is not taking outside investment, and it’s focused on seed funding for early-stage companies. So far it’s invested in Rohinni, Phononic, and Modern Meadow, according to its website, which says it also has hundreds of additional investments.

One of its biggest advantages will be the fact that it will give founders access to Fadell, who has decades of experience bringing products to market.

“When you can’t get past an obstacle, ask us. We’ve seen a lot before, and we can help you anticipate the things around that blind corner,” Fadell wrote in a letter posted on Future Shape’s website.

Apple drama

The first iPod 2001Screenshot/YouTubeThe first iPod.

Founders will also find in Fadell a pugnacious businessman who is not afraid of conflict. After all, there was serious corporate jockeying contributing to his exits from both Apple and Google.

An anecdote from a big new profile of Fadell published on Thursday hints that one of his portfolio companies is already feuding with Apple, the most valuable public company and Silicon Valley giant.

On one morning in Paris in June, Fadell was preoccupied with Apple, Wired reports. “F— Apple,” he reportedly exclaimed.

Wired’s reporter goes on to say he’s heard about a dispute brewing between one of the Future Shape companies and Apple.

But it’s also possible that Fadell’s pique was referring to something else. Days earlier, a new book partially about the invention of the iPhone, “The One Device,” by Brian Merchant, had been excerpted. The excerpt published on The Verge had Fadell telling an unflattering story about current Apple marketing boss Phil Schiller — which Fadell had to walk back in a tweet.

Reps for Fadell and Apple didn’t respond to a request for more information.

But if there is a dispute between a Fadell-backed company and the iPhone giant, it wouldn’t be surprising either. A Fadell-backed company, Keyssa, recently sued smartphone maker Essential over alleged theft of trade secrets.

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