Playground Ventures — the VC fund co-founded by Android inventor and former Google exec Andy Rubin that sits alongside an eponymous incubator/startup studio and is making some big bets in areas like artificial intelligence and new generations of hardware– is raising more money. A Form D filed with the SEC notes that Playground Ventures is in the process of adding another $15 million into its coffers.
Relatively speaking, it’s a modest figure: since 2015, it looks like the Playground group has disclosed about $242 million in funding as part of a projected $300 million for Playground Ventures (and a bigger plan for $500 million). We have contacted the company to ask if it can elaborate more on whether this $15 million is one more segment in that wider effort, or if it is for a different purpose. We’ll update this as we learn more.
Notably, en route to raising $300 million to date, Playground has picked up a number of strategic backers like Google, HP and Foxconn, which together with others put in $48 million towards the running total.
Why? veryone likes to back a winning team, and by virtue of Rubin’s experience with Android and at Google, and the impressive backgrounds of others on the team (including the creator of Quick Time, the co-creator of Danger and many others), Playground has one of the best track records around. And getting involved at the LP level gives these companies a chance to work early on with startups that have the potential to become big.
Up to now, Playground has served as a vehicle for funding some big ideas. They have included deep linking startup Branch, French high-end audio maker Devialet, driverless tech startup Nauto, the new phone company Essential and more. Not all of them may be flying. Just earlier this week we reported that AR company CastAR appears to have shut down.