Magic Leap, the ambitious AR startup, reached $2.6 billions in funding this week after they locked an extra $280 million for their “Magicverse”, You are not sure who Magic Leap is? Well, the reason for that is that Magic Leap hasn’t yet release anything yet.
To the cloud and beyond
Founded in 2011, by Brian Schowengerdt and Rony Abovitz, Magic Leap started as a VR/AR wearable ready to take the world by storm. The most competitive features of the gear are the builtin speakers, light weight and, most notably, the lens prescription insert option. These qualities make it unclear how can collaborations with AT&T and Docomo help, as high profile as they are.
So instead, the overachieving company plans on launching a new and innovative cloud platform, called “Magicverse”. After receiving an investment from AT&T, Magic Leap stroke the $280 million deal with Docomo, Japan’s largest mobile operator. As you guessed, all these financial resources are now focused on building the Magicverse.
The reason behind Magicverse
Magicverse is digital infrastructure based on spatially mapped layers, with the potential of becoming an important part in the future of cloud AR. One might say that Magic Leap is on the right path by becoming a cloud platform rather than just a hardware play solution. In simple terms,
The simple truth is that, even though the company invested heavily in their own headset, the differences between Magic Leap One and Facebok’s Oculus are hard to see. More importantly, Oculus prices range from $219 for the entertainment edition to as much as $549 for their All-in-One VR. Magic Leap One’s market price sits at a cozy $2.295.
However, on this market Magic Leap also competes with the likes of Microsoft, Amazon or Google. So it’s not exactly clear how they will differentiate themselves from these giants and their AR/VR teams.
Highly competitive market
Competition comes from every angle. At some point, Leap fought for a $480 million AR military contract, but lost to Microsoft. Meanwhile, Facebook invests millions in development of games compatible with Oculus. So, while Leap could follow suit and invest strictly in dedicated content, building an infrastructure as Magicverse makes more and more sense.
We are surely excited to see the progress of Leap’s Magicverse. Hopefully it will bring back the competitive edge that the company needs withing this industry. However, if Magic Leap does fail, their capability of raising such an impressive amount of money is still an admirable trait.