Mysterious Startup Magic Leap Lands $542M Series B Funding
Written by Ken Gaebler
Google leads massive funding drive for an undisclosed wearable technology that promises to merge the physical and digital worlds.
Technology investors and entrepreneurs know that Series B is often the most challenging round of funding for a startup. But in a move that shocked many in technology circles, hush-hush tech startup Magic Leap recently raised $542M in Series B funding.
According to multiple sources, Google's corporate division (not Google Ventures or Google Capital) led the funding round, with additional funders including heavyweights like KPCB, Andreesen Horowitz, Obvious Ventures, Qualcomm and Legendary Entertainment.
Although the amount of funds raised is unusually large for a startup, even more surprising is the fact that few people know what the company actually does. In fact, Magic Leap and its investors have been extremely tight lipped about its technology, while at the same time promising something that has been described as the future of computing.
What is known is that this round of funding is intended to complete product development and commercialization of technology that CEO Rony Abovitz described in a February press release as "the most natural and human-friendly wearable computing interface in the world."
In an interview with TechCrunch, Abovitz also said that Magic Leap's capabilities can be described with phrases like, "the world is your new desktop," and "the world is your new silver screen." This and other comments have led many to believe that the technology will combine users' inherent visual ability with mobile computing, creating experiences that blend the physical and digital in new and exciting ways.
There are also signs that Magic Leap will have a wide range of applications and may represent the next stage in the evolution of the digital interface. Although Abovitz and other company executives are quick to downplay comparisons to Facebook's acquisition of Oculus Rift technology, it seems that Magic Leap and other innovators are on the verge of bringing wearable augmented reality devices to market.
For startup entrepreneurs, Magic Leap's successful Series B funding round reinforces the idea that money follows innovation. Although the dichotomy of business innovation vs. technological innovation is real, by developing a disruptive and commercially viable product or service, startups can increase the odds--and the amount--of startup funding.
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