- Magic Leap lands $793.5 million in new funding, bringing total VC funding raised to date to $1.385 billion
- Post-Money valuation of $4.5 billion
- Latest round led by Alibaba, the Chinese e-commerce giant
- Magic Leap Founder & CEO describes the company’s technology as the Mixed Reality Lightfield™
- The product produces a Digital Lightfield™, described by the CEO as “a living river of light sculpture, which can transmit to you the feelings of magic and experience and presence”
- The way we interact with computers is poised to “change dramatically over the next couple of years”
From the Mashable news report:
Still cloaked in mystery, Magic Leap, the Florida-based augmented reality startup, has added a whopping $793.5 million in new funding, despite the fact that the public hasn’t even seen its product yet.
Significantly, the new round of funding is led by Alibaba, the Chinese ecommerce giant founded by Jack Ma.
“We invest in forward-thinking, innovative companies like Magic Leap that are developing leading products and technologies,” Alibaba executive chairman Joe Tsai said in an emailed statement. “We believe Alibaba can both provide support to and learn from such a partner, and we look forward to working with the Magic Leap team.”
Alibaba joins the likes of Google, Qualcomm, Legendary Entertainment and several venture capital firms which, back in 2014, invested over $500 million in the company.
This latest funding brings the total venture investment to date in Magic Leap to $1.385 billion, giving the company a new valuation to $4.5 billion post-money, according to a Magic Leap spokesperson in contact with Mashable.
“We are excited to welcome Alibaba as a strategic partner to help introduce Magic Leap’s breakthrough products to the over 400 million people on Alibaba’s platforms,” Magic Leap founder and CEO Rony Abovitz said in a statement emailed to Mashable.
Although the company still hasn’t revealed what the hardware will look like, and only gave us a glimpse of what the AR technology will look a few months ago (see video above), Abovitz did elaborate (albeit vaguely) on what Magic Leap has planned in a blog post on the company’s website on Tuesday.
“We are building a wonderful, special thing — whose purpose is to gently, and in harmony with you (your physiology, your being), produce a Digital Lightfield™ — a living river of light sculpture, which can transmit to you the feelings of magic and experience and presence,” Abovitz said. “We call this our Mixed Reality Lightfield™. It comes to life by following the rules of the eye and the brain, by being gentle, and by working with us, not against us.”
And while the founder’s descriptions of the technology may sound lofty, the simple fact is that some of the biggest players in technology are betting on Magic Leap’s success. So now it’s just a matter of waiting for the company to produce its first big public reveal of the system, a day that the company promises is coming soon, but still refuses to pin to a specific launch date.
Between this and the increase in activity around virtual reality, it appears certain that the way we watch movies, play games and interact with computers is poised to change dramatically over the next couple of years.