No sooner have we finished telling you about one augmented realtiy (AR) company that has secured lots of funding (Apprentice.io) then along comes another. But in this case the value is somewhat bigger – in fact it is ten times as big.
The company in question is WayRay, a Zurich-based firm that is focusing on holographic AR technology that also has offices in the US, China and Russia as well as growing interests in Germany. WayRay is looking to bring this technology to provide innovative solutions within the automotive industry and are also looking into avenues beyond this. This might explain in part how, while Apprentice received $8 million (USD) in Series A funding WayRay has just finished a round of Series C funding – netting a cool $80 million. As one of the investors is already its partner in this endeavour – sports car manufacturer Porsche.
“The WayRay team has unique expertise with a solid background in space engineering, hardware and software development. Their innovative ideas and products have great potential.” Said Lutz Meschke, Deputy Chairman of the Executive Board and Member of the Executive Board for Finance and IT at Porsche. “We are convinced that on this basis we’ll be able to offer our clients customized Porsche solutions. That is why we have made this strategic investment decision.”
As mentioned it is not just Porsche who are interested in WayRay in the car industry. “WayRay has remarkable expertise in both hardware and software development for holographic AR display systems.” Explained Dr. Youngcho Chi, Chief Innovation Officer and Executive Vice President of Hyundai Motor Group. “The Hyundai–WayRay collaboration will help us establish a brand-new eco-system that harnesses AR technology to enhance not only navigation systems but establish an AR platform for smart cities and smart buildings, which are Hyundai Motor Group’s new business interests, in the long term, providing innovative customer experiences to our drivers.”
Vitaly Ponomarev, CEO of WayRay had this to say: “As a deep-tech company, we are committed to creating fundamental innovations that bring us far beyond holographic AR displays and new interfaces. A growing number of projects with carmakers and strong investors are fuelling the company’s growth and boosting our confidence in implementing complex innovations. We are proud to be recognized as a reliable partner able to meet the high standards set by investors like Porsche and Hyundai.”
WayRay look set to become a major name in AR going forward. VRFocus will bring you more news on their activities very soon