Magic Leap received a massive round of funding from companies like Google and Qualcomm Ventures, in an effort to go all in on a technology and computing startup. The focus of the company is broad, and little is known about what they’re doing, but the interest in the company is major. According to many, this could be a startup that changes the way people interact with computers entirely.
The $542 million round of funding was the largest, by far, to date. Google led the funding, and Qualcomm Ventures – a venture capital firm – and many more. Rony Abovitz, the founder and CEO said in a statement released today that “Magic Leap is going beyond the current perception of mobile computing, augmented reality, and virtual reality.” He went on to note that the company is “transcending all three.”
Big words coming from a tech startup that just received their funding, but it would appear that the talk is well-supported. As mentioned, there isn’t a ton that’s known about the company, or what they do, but there are a few clues out there that lead to some answers. Overall, it appears that the main target in the sights of Magic Leap is Facebook’s Oculus Rift. Which would clearly explain Google’s interest in the company, and their willingness to send money, and brain power to the company – as they have injected Google’s vice president of Android, Chrome and Apps onto Magic Leap’s board of directors. The same can be said for Paul Jacobs, the executive chairman of Qualcomm, who also has a large stake in the company now with this investment.
Last February the company received a $50 million round of funding that was focused on development and commercialization of Cinematic Reality. Cinematic Reality is the company’s computing interface technology and is the part of the company that would likely be the backbone of the company’s work and ventures. However, it’s unclear now what the company is focusing this large round of funding on. It’s also unclear at this point what Google stands to gain from the relationship beyond the potential to be a part of something that could compete with Facebook.
As Google stands to lose some ground potentially in the advertising space with Facebook’s new advertising platform, it stands to reason that Google would be looking for an opportunity to make up some ground in other areas.