Alibaba leads $793m in Magic Leap funding to make future AR tech

4 Feb 2016

Despite the floundering of Google Glass, it would appear all is rosy for augmented reality (AR) company Magic Leap, with the Google-backed enterprise appearing to give itself an incredible lead after it secured €793m in its latest funding round.

While it has still revealed little about what exactly it’s planning to do with its technology, Magic Leap has revealed that Alibaba has led this last massive round of Series C funding, along with continued investment from two other major players: its own Google parent company and chip-maker Qualcomm.

There were also a number of smaller parties taking part in this round of investing, the most notable of which is Warner Bros, which clearly has an eye on what future AR technology has in film, potentially creating scenes like the famous ‘Jaws 19’ scene in Back to the Future.

Reaching Uber levels

Following this latest investment, it is now believed the company is reaching Uber territory as a start-up worth in the region of $4.5bn.

The last time the company achieved this level of funding was as recently as 2014 when it raised $524m in Series B funding, all of which, it says, will help it get to where it wants to go on its timeline.

Just recently, the company’s founder and CEO, Rony Abovitz, took to Magic Leap’s blog to say that it has already begun the process of getting down to establishing supply chain operations and manufacturing for its headset, which it is simply calling ‘First’.

Speaking of its part in the investment, Alibaba’s executive vice chairman, Joe Tsai, said: “We invest in forward-thinking, innovative companies like Magic Leap that are developing leading products and technologies.

“We believe Alibaba can both provide support to and learn from such a partner, and we look forward to working with the Magic Leap team.”

Woman using AR glasses image via Stefano Tinti/Shutterstock

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic