AR Startup Magic Leap is Looking for a Buyer – Road to VR

Magic Leap, the multi-billion greenback AR startup, may very well be exploring the potential of a sale, a Bloomberg report maintains, citing individuals acquainted with the matter. Different choices reportedly into consideration are potential partnerships and a stake sale.

The Plantation, Florida-based firm has raised $2.6 billion since its preliminary Sequence A financing in 2014, garnering money from the likes of Google, Alibaba, Qualcomm, and Andreessen Horowitz through the years. The corporate’s deep pockets funded the discharge of Magic Leap 1, an AR headset focused at builders, enterprise, and anybody with $2,300 to spare.

Bloomberg maintains the corporate has valued itself at “greater than $10 billion if it pursues a sale,” its sources say, noting that the corporate has contacted an adviser to contemplate strategic choices.

A gathering was additionally allegedly held between Fb and Magic Leap, nonetheless Fb was tired of buying Magic Leap on the time.

When requested for whether or not the corporate was pursuing a sale or not through Twitter, Magic Leap Founder & CEO Rony Abovitz declined to reply.

“The reply to the final word query of life, the universe and all the things is 42.” (Douglas Adams) 😎

— Rony Abovitz (@rabovitz) March 12, 2020

In the identical breath, Abovitz isn’t shying away from hyping the corporate’s forthcoming Magic Leap 2 headset, which he says is nearing launch to pick companions this 12 months. A wider launch is claimed to return a some level in 2021.

Additional underlining the corporate’s resolve, Abovitz even goes as far to disclose that Magic Leap three is at present in its R&D part—an unorthodox technique to make sure, speaking about its third system even earlier than getting quantity two out the door; firms usually discuss one product technology at a time, however then once more, Magic Leap clearly isn’t like different firms.

If Magic Leap is certainly on the lookout for a parachute amid reportedly slumping gross sales of its $2,300 AR headset, it comes as no shock. The corporate struck an all too hopeful tone with when it first launched its ‘Simply one other day within the workplace at Magic Leap’ video in 2015 (retroactively renamed ‘Authentic Idea Video’) which painted a rosy image of the close to way forward for the corporate’s then mysterious AR headset.

Upon launch of Magic Leap One (now Magic Leap 1 – don’t ask) in 2018, the headset noticed a tepid launch, with Oculus founder Palmer Luckey serving up a scathing overview of the headset, criticizing it for its HoloLens-adjacent FOV and performance, and concluding that whereas total a strong system, it merely didn’t ship on the hype.

Within the firm’s protection, Magic Leap has been spinning its justifiable share of plates. It’s constructed an actual, reside, totally-not-vaporware system, and has funded the creation of apps for years focused each at enterprise and shopper segments—regardless of it under no circumstances being accessible to customers. It’s created its personal OS, SDKs and all the things else wanted to get the product off the bottom and into the palms of builders. Making what will need to have been substantial investments in R&D, premium content material and developer instruments isn’t something to sneeze at, though it’s clear the corporate hasn’t seen the return on funding. And it in all probability gained’t till it could actually at the least replicate the success of Microsoft’s purely enterprise-focused HoloLens headsets.