Market Reality: As Magic Leap & Microsoft Seek Funds, Educators Prepare the Next Class of AR Innovators

As Magic Leap & Microsoft Seek Funds, Educators Prepare the Next Class of AR Innovators

For a company who hasn't released a product and has a reputation for being secretive, Magic Leap sure has a tendency to make waves. Over the past few weeks, they've refreshed their website design, released an abstract YouTube video, and announced a partnership with Madefire to offer mixed reality comics on its device whenever it launches. Next, they are gearing up for another round of funding.

Magic Leap isn't the only company seeking funding. Microsoft is a founding member of a public/private partnership seeking funds from Canadian government program investing in emerging technology.

Meanwhile, institutions of higher learning see the potential of molding the next generation of AR entrepreneurs and engineers.

Magic Leap Prepares to Sell 37 Million Shares of Series D Stock

According to regulatory filings obtained by CB Insights, Magic Leap intends to offer more than 37 million shares of Series D Preferred Stock at $27 per share.

While the company may not sell all of them (as one report notes), the shares could net the company upwards of $1 billion. Holders of Series D shares would also receive cash dividends at a rate of $2.16 should such a distribution take place.

Magic Leap's Series C round, which closed in February, brought in $793.5 million, raising their valuation to $4.5 billion.

Nine Finalists Remain for $950 Million Canada Tech Program

Canada's Innovation Superclusters Initiative has narrowed down applicants to nine groups to proceed to the second and final phase of the application process.

The program will select five superclusters, which are partnerships between public and private entities, to receive investments from the $950 million in available funds. The successful applicants must also match each dollar of the federal funds they are awarded. Final proposals are due Nov. 24

The finalists include a consortium from British Columbia which counts Microsoft among its founding partners.

"With the augmented and virtual reality market expected to exceed $100 billion by 2025, Vancouver is poised to become a world-class hub for digital media and entertainment innovation," said Brad Smith, President of Microsoft Corp. in a statement.

SCAD Starts Alumni Incubator for Digital Products

The Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) has formed an entrepreneurial program to help graduates

The current class of SCAD+ includes Manifest, a god simulator originally built for Android devices where players nurture (or torture, as these games tend to go) civilizations, and KineticARds, greeting cards with app-enabled augmented reality experiences.

"The SCAD+ program is a prime example of how SCAD fosters innovation, particularly in emerging fields such as virtual and augmented reality. We are proud to cultivate an environment where SCAD alumni can develop projects with a lasting global impact," said John Paul Rowan, Vice President for SCAD Savannah and SCAD+ Advisory Board member, in a news release.

John Hopkins University Adds AR & VR Track

As VR Scout reports, John Hopkins University has established a Immersive Storytelling and Emerging Techologies concentration to its Master of Arts in Film, Media, and Creative Technologies program.

The four courses in the Storytelling and Emerging Technologies track cover empathy and cognition in immersive technology, game engines, social design, and storytelling in VR.

To commemorate the concentration, the university hosted a free Immersive Media Conference on Oct. 7. Speakers included content creators to technologists from Google, Oculus, and the New York Times, among other organizations.

Every Friday, Next Reality reviews the latest headlines from the financial side of augmented and mixed reality. This weekly Market Reality column covers funding announcements, mergers and acquisitions, market analysis, and the like. Check out previous editions of Market Reality for more news you may have missed.

Cover image via Magic Leap/YouTube

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