Augmented reality (AR) start-up company Blippar first came to prominence with its work creating branded AR experiences for recognised companies and brands, allowing customers to unlock AR experiences by scanning a real-world product. More recently the company has shifted focus towards AR computer vision. Now the company has announced the close of a $37 million (USD) funding round led by Candy Ventures and Qualcomm Ventures.
The company says that this latest round is meant to allow to company to keep going in its efforts to reach profitability within the next 12 months as it seeks to recruit new clients and launch new products.
Despite being one of the pioneers in the areas of AR marketing and advertising, and the upsurge in interest for AR technologies, Blippar has seemingly been struggling. Business Insider reported that Blippar posted revenue of $11.2 million in the 16 months lead up to 31st March 2016, while posting losses of $31.5 million.
Some analysts have identified the reasons for Blippar’s issues as its multiple changes in direction, moving swiftly from AR marketing to computer vision and AR mapping. The most recent product introduced by Blippar was an AR indoor positioning system. The system allowed real estate owners to use AR mapping to map out large areas.
The AR mapping system was designed with the idea of allowing visitors to navigate through large indoor spaces, such as stadiums, department stores or airports. Though Blippar maintained some connection to its advertising and marketing roots, seeing an opportunity to allow AR adverts to appear on certain popular locations when users are trying to locate the bathrooms or the food court.
The indoor positioning system is said to be still in development, with Blippar intending to launch the product with a major retailer in early 2019.
For further coverage on Blippar and other AR companies, keep checking back with VRFocus.