It was only in September that VRFocus reported on augmented reality (AR) startup Blippar closing another funding round. However, that $37 million (USD) pumped into its coffers by Candy Ventures and Qualcomm Ventures, wasn’t enough to save the struggling company which has announced it’s now entering administration.
The company claims the reason for administration was to do with a disagreement between investors, namely Malaysian fund Khazanah Nasional blocking an emergency $5 million round of funding.
A statement read: “Over the last several months, the whole team at Blippar has worked hard to focus the business on our B2B offering in order to reach profitability and deliver long-term value to shareholders. This strategy had been approved unanimously by our board and required a small amount of funding, in addition to the funding announced in September, to fulfil our plans. That funding was secured, but it ultimately required shareholders’ approval for Blippar to access it. Regrettably, one shareholder voted against the additional funding, effectively blocking the investment even if they were not asked to participate in any further financing of the business, and despite our extensive efforts to reach a successful resolution.”
David Rubin & Partners have been appointed as administrators reports The Telegraph: “The appointment of Administrators has arisen effectively as a result of an alleged dispute over continued funding,” Paul Appleton, partner at David Rubin & Partners said. “Following their appointment, the Administrators are now exploring all possible options for the future of the business for the benefit of all Stakeholders.”
Ambarish Mitra and Omar Tayeb founded Blippar in 2011, and was once a British tech ‘unicorn’ valued at £1 Billion GBP. The company began by offering consumer AR products, letting users ‘blipp’ real world objects for more info before developing a social feature called ‘Halos’. Due to financial struggles which saw the company lose £35 million ($44 million) in 2017, it moved towards a B2B model, teaming up with Renault and Kellogg’s to offer AR experiences.
Whether any or all parts of Blippar can be saved remains to be seen. Keep reading VRFocus for any further updates on the state of the company.