CastAR's Financial Woes Lead to Layoffs & Liquidation
What began as a highly successful Kickstarter campaign has all but ended, according to an updated report by Polygon. CastAR, comprised of a few people from Valve's former research and hacking arm, has released a large portion of their team. Only a small core of the group remains, trying to sell the technology they have created.
Lead by Jeri Ellsworth and Rick Johnson, two former Valve employees, CastAR, having worked on the hybrid augmented and virtual reality glasses project for a year before leaving Valve, found a way to retain rights to the hardware. This led to a successful Kickstarter raising over $1,000,000 of a $400,000 goal.
CastAR found even more success in their first round of funding, with $15M raised from venture firm and studio Playground Global. With prompting from the new investment team, Ellsworth and Johnson not only returned the Kickstarter money, they also decided to send out those units to their backers.
After a highly successful Series A of funding, Playground Global declined to invest further when it came time for the second round and pulled all funding last week, according to a report by Arstechnica, leading to what we now know was the release of under 70 people.
With AR fighting so hard to crawl out of the primordial soup, up onto land, hearing of these hardships can be discouraging at the very least. Worse, it can scare away both investors and developers. Fortunately, the augmented reality space just got a major shot in the arm thanks to Apples joining in on the fun. So fret not, true believer, the AR revolution is coming.