Florida-based Magic Leap, has raised funding of around $800 million from investors including Alibaba, Warner Bros and Google. Withe the infusion of this fund, the company is now valued at $4.5 billion. Further, as a part of the deal, Joe Tsai, Alibaba’s Executive Vice-Chairman, will join its board. Tsai joins Google CEO Sundar Pichai. Both Google and Qualcomm were early investors.
The funding will be used to get its product to market faster, and to develop a strategic relationship in the Chinese market.
The startup is preparing for a new “augmented reality” headset that its founder promises will bring users Harry Potter-like experiences. The company has not disclosed further details on the upcoming product, nor has it revealed the date of its launch.
In 2014, Magic Leap had raised $542 million, which had valued the company at $1.2 billion.
Comment on the development, Rony Abovitz, said,
“We want to be around for quite a while… We don’t want to be a flash-in-the-pan start-up.”
He added that Magic Leap is developing a product which will leapfrog Oculus Rift to bring a new kind of “hyper-personal computing” that seamlessly mixes rich digital graphics with the physical world. Further, Abovitz compared his platform to the arrival of Apple’s first personal computers in the 1970s.
Even large “C” round fundraises are often less than half the amount of money Magic Leap has raised. GV, formerly Google Ventures, led a $258 million round in Uber in 2014; a year prior, Founders Fund led a $200 million investment in Airbnb. Back in 2007, Microsoft injected $240 million into Facebook.