Magic Leap has raised US$1.3 billion but is yet to release a product
The Singaporean state-owned investment firm, Temasek, is reportedly considering investing in a US$500 million funding round into Magic Leap — the augmented reality company who made a splash with its virtual whale breaching in a school gym.
According to Bloomberg, if the deal goes through, it would value Magic Leap at about US$6 billion. Magic Leap has already raised US$1.3 billion in total funding.
Besides the funding, Magic Leap is hoping to deliver its first product to a number of investors in the next 6 months, the Bloomberg article reports.
Magic Leap has promised to build the premiere AR technology, but besides some fantastical promotional videos, nothing has been released.
Last December, the company was embroiled in controversy when it was discovered that a promotional video did not actually display Magic Leap technology but rather was made by a film studio.
The reason Magic Leap has been around for ages without releasing a product is because it wants to build its entire infrastructure in house. This includes both the hardware and software.
Their ambitions are high. It wants to use a mix of AR and VR with a flagship headset Bloomberg wrote would cost between US$1,500 and US$2,000. Currently, VR headsets build a completely fabricated universe, while AR still has a light touch (think dancing hot dog). If Magic Leap succeeds, the goal is to create a headset in which the user feels like they are in the real world, except with fantastical additions that feel real.
The AR/VR space has been ‘burgeoning’ for years, but recent developments suggest the technology might be catching up with the promises.
Last summer, AR received a lightning strike of momentum with the popularity of Pokémon Go. The social media company Snapchat has been a leader in integrating it with consumer behaviour and this week’s launch of the iPhoneX also promised a future of more AR features.
Other companies involved in Magic Leap include Alibaba, Alphabet and Qualcomm.
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