British unicorn Blippar secures $54m Series D

Fast-growth app allows users to point their smartphone camera at everyday objects and instantly receive search results

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Tech start-up Blippar has raised a staggering $54m in a Series D funding round led by the strategic investment arm of the government of Malaysia; Khazanah Nasional Berhad, alongside existing investors.

Founded by Ambarish Mitra, Omar Tayeb and Steve Spencer in August 2011, the Blippar app uses augmented reality search to bring everyday objects to life from ketchup bottles to shoes and magazines. Users of the app simply point their smartphone at these objects and then receive an array of search results.

The company’s ‘blippable’ feature has attracted several big-name clients such as Nike, Samsung, Tesco, Cadbury, Xbox and Virgin and over 50 million users.

Last year, the London-based company – which employs 300 staff across 14 offices – joined the unicorn club (businesses valued at a $1bn or more) having raised $45m last year and now plans to use the investment to build out its 60 person engineering team in San Francisco.

Blippar CEO Mitra said that “2016 is poised to be the biggest year in Blippar’s history”:

“We’ll not only expand our breadth and depth as a business – across our team, technology capabilities and product offerings – but also reach new heights with our vision to become a true visual discovery engine for the physical world.”

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