Forbes reports Florida-based Magic Leap is raising more than $800 million in a series C round. Previously, the South Florida Business Journal reported Magic Leap was “close to inking a $1 billion financing round.” A Magic Leap representative declined to comment.
While the amount being raised might be in flux, MIT Technology Review suggested Magic Leap needs an extraordinary amount of money to “scale up silicon photonics—something heavyweights like Intel have struggled to do.” We’ll update if we learn more, but we are tagging this post as rumor until we get more information.
Last October Magic Leap received $542 million from investors including Google with another $50 million funding the company previously. Forbes reported the information based on a Delaware filing obtained “from private market data provider VC Experts.” This is speculation on our part, but if fundraising is still ongoing the amount specified in the filing could be only a portion of Magic Leap’s total planned round.
Magic Leap is trying to build a “light field” leap beyond comparatively simple stereoscopic 3D head-mounted displays like the Oculus Rift and PlayStation VR. Light fields can perfectly recreate the way our eyes see the world, duplicating visual cues ignored by the current crop of VR head-mounted displays. In addition, Magic Leap is focused on augmented reality technology in its approach to the mixed reality market, promising to insert virtual objects into our view of the real world. That said, the technology is completely new and likely requires new ways of displaying content never manufactured on a mass scale before. Put another way, it could require billions of dollars to build all the pieces necessary to package this amazing technology into a mass-market product.
Here’s the only footage “shot directly through Magic Leap technology” Magic Leap has released:
Magic Leap has been rapidly hiring as of late, growing into a new office in Israel, and moving into a 260,000 square foot facility in Florida. The startup also poached HTC’s Head of Global Marketing for the Vive project (which was delayed until 2016 yesterday) to head up product marketing as Magic Leap prepares to, as CEO Rony Abovitz put it recently, “build millions of things.”