Almost half a year after we broke the story about the demise of Meta Company, there's good news for fans of the augmented reality startup — a rebirth is at hand.
As we reported months ago, a new owner, called Meta View, is in control of Meta's assets, but now the new group is making it official.
The new venture is a "wholly new and unaffiliated entity," backed by Olive Tree Ventures and BNSG Capital. Taking the wheel as the CEO of the new version of Meta is Jay Wright, the former president at Vuforia who also counts time as an executive at Qualcomm as part of his experience.
"The potential for spatial computing is intoxicating. It has fostered a highly competitive and dynamic landscape that I've traversed for more than a decade," said Wright. "This experience and insight have equipped me to identify a different approach, and I couldn't be more excited to build a new company, a new product, and a world-class team to drive it forward."
The announcement makes no mention of Meta founder Meron Gribetz in the new company's official statement, by adding an experienced veteran like Wright to the new version of Meta, it appears the new owners are betting that the existing assets will benefit from the hand of someone from outside of the company's original team.
"Jay brings a broad perspective and a fresh strategy to the table," said Manor Zemer, a managing director at Israel-based Olive Tree Ventures. "He has a deep understanding of AR applications, technologies, and barriers to adoption and is uniquely positioned to take his expertise and apply it to developing a product that marries both technology capabilities and market need, driving real value."
Another bit of major news is that, while the new company will continue to support Meta 2 owners, they will no longer be offering the Meta 2 device for sale. And just in case there's any doubt about how aggressively the new version of Meta intends to attack the market, the new owners are also publicly announcing that they're looking to hire new team members for company locations in San Mateo and San Diego, California, as well as Tel-Aviv, Israel (interested parties can contact email@example.com).
The new owners still haven't directly addressed the lingering patent lawsuit case publicly, but with its new leadership team, we will hopefully learn more details about that issue in the coming weeks and months.
It's a stunning and welcome turnaround for a product that helped pioneer augmented reality years ago and had garnered a great deal of good will among AR insiders. And while the old team and the former owners are no longer are part of the story, Meta 2 owners can now rest easy about their investment, and fans of the former company can look forward to future iterations of the Meta line of AR products produced and managed by the new team.
This isn't the exact outcome Gribetz probably wanted, but for AR fans and Meta supporters, it delivers a happy ending of sorts.