Creo smartphone bites the dust

Creo smartphone bites the dust

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Sequoia-backed Creo stops smartphone production after 6 months, goes OS only

Bangalore-based Creo launched its smartphone, the Mark 1, in April this year. The idea was to launch a phone with a focus on its Android-based software. Top investors including Sequoia bought in, investing US$3 million into the company.

But just over six months in, the startup has ditched its phone making plans and has shifted focus entirely to building its operating system, Fuel OS. It sold around 1,000 smartphones (analyst estimates, Creo did not reveal sales numbers).

Creo chief executive Sai Srinivas told Tech In Asia that ditching manufacturing was a part of the plan, as the Mark 1 was intended not to take on big rivals in the smartphone industry, but to showcase the OS it was powered by.

“The idea was to build an always evolving OS with new features every month and take this experience to as many people as possible. Right from the start, the plan was to partner with other phone makers in the market. Very soon, you’ll hear about our partnerships in this regard,” said the former Zynga and Bharti Softbank employee.

“The home-grown tech startup will join the exclusive niche of global companies that produce smartphones by developing both, a proprietary software OS and the smartphone itself,” was what the company said while announcing the funding round from Sequoia, BeeNext, and India Quotient.

Sequoia had not gotten back with to us at the time of publication.

The company will consider introducing new models as they bring in major software upgradations. But for now, the future of Creo rides on the OS.

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This makes me wonder how the Teewe team is doing nowadays.