Market Reality: Augmented Reality Companies Strike Deals for Funding, Manufacturing & Retailing
Four augmented reality companies made deals this week to grow their businesses. Two companies, TechSee and Car360, completed funding rounds, while DAQRI signed with a production partner and Decalomania landed a prime spot with a top retailer.
A company applying augmented reality and artificial intelligence for customer support, TechSee has completed a Series A round of financing valued at $7.5 million.
The visual support solution developed by TechSee gives remote support technicians the ability to visually diagnose and resolve issues through customers' smartphones.
"The new investment will help TechSee leverage its strong momentum and market leadership to further accelerate its market penetration, technology development and bring innovative products to our customers and prospects. Our Investors strong network in Telecommunication, Utilities and Financial Services is a force multiplier for TechSee's leadership position in the emerging "Support of Things" category across Telecommunication, Consumer Electronics and Financial Services markets," said Eitan Cohen, co-founder and CEO of TechSee, in a news release.
Fueled by its augmented reality -driven automobile marketing platform, Car360 buckled up $3.55 million in Series A funding from new and existing investors this week.
The funding will enable the company to hire 60 additional employees in their Atlanta headquarters, fortify sales and marketing efforts, and develop their product pipeline.
The company's core product is its iOS app, which allows users to scan automobiles and publish models online by way of the company's 360 degree viewer.
"Car360 is undoubtedly a cool product from an experiential viewpoint. But its true financial potential rests on the significant return on investment that companies in the auto industry are poised to receive by shifting their customers' experience literally into high gear through augmented reality to drive sales, or to make inspection processes more efficient and effective," said John Hanger, who took the helm as Car360's CEO in March, via news release.
BIP Capital led the round of funding, joined by new investor, Service Provider Capital, and existing investor, Mark Cuban's Radical Investments. The company's original investment from Cuban came by way of ABC's Shark Tank.
"The use of disconnected collections of photos, videos and textual data to describe cars on web pages is as old as the web itself and has not evolved much—until now. With the rapid demand among consumers to evaluate major purchase decisions through augmented reality, companies that use Car360 are on the cutting-edge of giving customers the best experience short of actually test driving a vehicle," said BIP Capital Managing Partner Paul Iaffaldano.
Flex will manufacture DAQRI augmented reality headsets from their plant in Cork, Ireland and manage order fulfillment and repair services.
"The pace of growth across our Augmented Reality platform continues to accelerate," said DAQRI founder and CEO Brian Mullins in a news release. "It's now time for DAQRI to scale operations to meet our customer demand. By working with Flex, not only do we get access to a global system of production and logistics, but we get a true innovation partner as we build the future of augmented reality. That's very powerful."
Decalomania, makers of augmented reality wall decals, were among 100 companies offered immediate deals by Walmart as part of their fourth annual US Manufacturing Open Call held in Bentonville, Arkansas this week.
The retailer heard more than 750 product presentations during the event. Chosen companies won deals to be sold on walmart.com, while others lived to continue negotiations after the event.
"Today has been a fantastic show of innovation, and we are proud to extend an offer and digital shelf space on Walmart.com to today's participants," said Cindi Marsiglio, Walmart vice president, U.S. Manufacturing, in a news release.
Decalomania offers wall decals from five gaming franchises, namely Assassin's Creed, Mega Man, Resident Evil, Street Fighter, and For Honor, each retailing for $29.98. Scanning one of the decals with Decalomania's iOS or Android app loads 3D animation on to the device's screen.
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.