An announcement made by Magic Leap, Inc. (“Magic Leap”) today revealed that the company has accomplished a remarkable $542 million Series B financing, including investors led by Google, Inc., and including KPCB, Andreessen Horowitz, Obvious Ventures, Qualcomm and Legendary Entertainment.
The press-release news today came as a big surprise as the jaw dropping milestone was achieved by the Florida company without creating a buzz before. A major part of Magic Leap’s plan is a wearable device that will be capable of tracking users’ eyeballs and project images on to them. The company told it will use the funds for product development and among other things.
The company started in 2011 under the guidance of Chief Executive Officer Rony Abovitz is refered to as “a hardware, software, firmware, and development platform,” by its CEO.
As a step towards a future in which your high tech laptops and smartphones will be in the antediluvian category while we move towards a blend of augmented reality and virtual reality, Qualcomm’s executive chairman and one of Magic Leap’s new board members, Dr Paul Jacobs and SVP of Android, Chrome and Apps at Google Inc, Sundar Pichai, elaborated in an email the reason behind this investment.
Jacobs also speak of Magic Leap as “immersive and engaging.”
Pichai remarked, “We are looking forward to Magic Leap’s next stage of growth, and to seeing how it will shape the future of visual computing.”
Along with Jacobs and Pichai, Don Harrison, Vice-President, Corporate Development at Google Inc. will be joining the board of directors as observers.
“I’m not sure what the category will be called,” Legendary Entertainment CEO Thomas Tull said, “but it augments and brings you into a world in a completely realistic, immersive way without taxing your eyes or brain.”
“We are excited and honored to have such an extraordinary group of investors to help us bring our vision and products to the world,” said Abovitz.
“Magic Leap is going beyond the current perception of mobile computing, augmented reality, and virtual reality. We are transcending all three, and will revolutionize the way people communicate, purchase, learn, share and play.”
Magic Leap is working with Weta Workshop. Weta Workshop is a design studio and physical manufacturing facility that contributed in spectacular movies like Avatar, District 9, Elysium, the Lord of the Rings Trilogy, King Kong and The Hobbit.
Richard Taylor, co-founder of VFX company Weta Workshop will be joining the Magic Leap’s board of directors.
“What Rony and the Magic Leap team have created is nothing short of remarkable and will forever change the way we interact with images and information,” he commented.
“We are now at the threshold of giving people a dynamic image interface that harmonizes with their senses in a completely natural way. As a storyteller and as a person that loves creating and sharing imaginative worlds, it’s a very exciting time. The Magic Leap team has created something truly game changing. It is like a rocket ship for the mind.”
Allen & Co. and Morgan Stanley served as financial advisers to Magic Leap in connection with the funding.