Chinese Company Set to Buy Stake in Magic Leap

by Jamie Feltham • June 7th, 2016

The last time we heard from Magic Leap we learned it was suing two former employees. Today’s news is a little more positive.

As reported by Variety, Chinese entertainment group Zhejiang Huace has announced plans to raise $303 million for expansion in the US. As a part of the move, the company intends to acquire a “small stake” in Magic Leap and its technology. The move would not be a new investment according to Andy Fouché, Magic Leap’s VP of Public Relations, but rather a purchase in shares from “a current non-core shareholder.”

Back in February, Magic Leap announced that it had raised a further $794 million in a Series C round of funding, and was then valued at $4.5 billion. That put the Florida-based startup’s funding total close to $1.4 billion, but it remains to be seen how much this potential new investment will add to that. At the same time, the company gave a new name to its work, labelling it “Mixed Reality Lightfield”.

Magic Leap has kept its tech under wraps for close to two years now, though has offered some tantalizing teases in the past few months. The HMD – which itself is yet to be shown off – will project virtual images into the real world viewed through a pair of lenses, much like Microsoft’s HoloLens device. That said, we’re yet to get the chance to really compare the two, though some A-list talent such as The Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson have been singing praises about Magic Leap’s offering. Hopefully we’ll get to see what all the fuss is about soon.

Late last month news broke that the company was suing former Senior Vice President of Advanced Perception and Intelligence Gary Bradski and former Vice President of Technology Solutions Adrian Kaehler over an alleged breach of contract after they themselves sued for wrongful termination. We’re still waiting on news on how the case will progress.

Update: This article has been updated to reflect comments from Magic Leap.

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