Oxford-based augmented reality start-up WaveOptics raises £12m in Series B

WaveOptics will use the funds to further develop its tech, which includes AR glasses that have larger viewing panels than traditional headsets

WaveOptics, a tech start-up that specialises in augmented reality (AR), has raised £12m in Series B funding in a round led by existing investors Octopus Ventures, Touchstone Innovations plc and Robert Bosch Venture Capital GmbH – as well as new backer, China's Gobi Ventures.

Based in Oxford, WaveOptics develops a range of AR products including AR glasses that have larger viewing panels than traditional headsets, as well as featuring brighter, full-colour images.

In contrast to the usually large and clunky headsets most VR or AR fans are use to, WaveOptics aims to produce a much smaller model – but with an improved performance.

A demo video on its website showcases how a cyclists may use the headset to track his speed, heart rate and distance traveled.

WaveOptics will use the funds develop its tech, as well as expand into new markets, with the AR sector now believed to be worth around $55bn by 2020.

Martin Harriman, chairman of WaveOptics, said:

‘WaveOptics is reinventing the AR  market, by developing a series of new AR display tech that enables a wider field of view and brighter full colour images – a unique combination in today’s market.

“This funding round further accelerates development of our industry-leading technologies and enables us to launch programmes in new markets and territories. We are excited about the team of investors we have on board who share our vision.”

Simon King, principle at Octopus Ventures, said:

“There are a number of technical hurdles that need to be overcome before AR is widely adopted and getting the display right comes high at the top of that list.

“We are very excited to continue to back the talented team at WaveOptics as we believe they have the skills and technology to deliver an experience that will unlock the next revolution in personal computing.”

Michael Zhu, managing partner at Shanghai based Gobi Partners said:

“The massive global potential for AR is likely to emerge within the Asian markets where the desire for this technology is significant.

“It is clear that WaveOptics have unlocked the combination of performance, compact form factor and scalability and present a highly compelling solution for the crutial optical element of headworn AR solutions”.



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