OnePlus today made its debut in the Indian market by launching the flagship One, with a price tag of Rs 21,999. In a chat with BGR India, Carl Pei, Director of OnePlus Global, revealed that the company is now in talks with venture capitalists to raise funding.
“We are talking to a lot of Valley VCs and we are very close to closing a round,” Pei told BGR India. He would however not share any details about the investment round, only revealing that “they were in final negotiations.”
Pei also touched upon the entire issue of OnePlus being related to Oppo, saying, “Just because two companies share the same investors, doesn’t mean it is very related.” “Once we close this round, the outside world will start seeing the differences between us and Oppo,” he added.
This issue surfaced online earlier this year, when a few publications reported that OnePlus was launched when former Oppo Electronics VP Pete Lau had left the company to start his own venture. There was further controversy, when documents from China’s regulatory board leaked showing that OnePlus was a wholly-owned subsidy of Oppo.
The startup however came clean about this saga when it issued a statement to GizChina earlier this year. “We understand the confusion as many people are just finding out about OnePlus. But as we’ve said from the beginning, OnePlus is a separately run company that does share common investors with OPPO,” it said. “One of those investors is OPPO Electronic. OPPO Electronic is an investment company and is not the same as OPPO Mobile. OnePlus is also in talks with other investors.”
As mentioned above, OnePlus today launched the One in India, priced at Rs 21,999. The flagship killer features a 5.5-inch 1080p display, 2.5GHz Snapdragon 801 quad-core processor, 3GB of RAM, and 64GB internal storage. Also included are 13-megapixel rear camera, 5-megapixel front-facing camera, and a 3,100mAh battery. On the software front, the smartphone runs on the CyanogenMod ROM CM11s with several customized features.
The company however has had to deal with a difficult scenario with Cyanogen’s inking a deal with Micromax to exclusively license its software to the forthcoming YU series of smartphones. In other words, the move essentially takes the rights from OnePlus to sell CyanogenMod-powered handsets in India.
While the company launched the One as planned, Pei said, “It has changed our plans in regards to the software. We had assembled a software team before, but they were working on future devices. So we have now shifted the engineering focus to the OnePlus One to get something great out as soon as possible.”