WaveOptics completes funding round


15 December 2015

WaveOptics, the UK based Augmented Reality (AR) technology display developer, has raised additional funds from both new and existing investors.

The funds will be used to enhance WaveOptics’ position in the AR market with a focus on increasing its market penetration in enterprise and accelerating its level of engagement in the consumer market. WaveOptics’ objective is to become the enabler for the mass adoption of wearable AR.

Imperial Innovations Group plc led the funding round alongside Robert Bosch Venture Capital GmbH, Octopus Ventures, angel investors and existing investor, Blippar.

The Company has developed a patented technology that can display a high quality, full colour, see-through display for AR applications. The technology is scalable, lightweight, cost-effective and energy efficient. The compact display and world leading image quality will enable the next generation of wearable AR for enterprise and consumer markets

Oxford headquartered WaveOptics was founded in 2012 by Sumanta Talukdar, Chief Executive Officer, and David Grey, Chief Technology Officer.

Sumanta Talukdar, Chief Executive Officer of WaveOptics, said: ”This multi-million pound funding round will enable us to make another significant step forward in the deployment of our AR technologies for both our enterprise customers as well as consumer product companies."

“Our AR display technology has the capability to revolutionise visual reality in helping to customise it. The applications of a compelling AR experience in a truly wearable format are vast and we intend to fully exploit these opportunities going forward.”

Robert Bahns, Director Technology Ventures of Imperial Innovations, said: “WaveOptics is a leader in Augmented Reality technologies and we are therefore pleased to be able to lead on this funding round to support the business and its exciting technology."

“This funding will allow the company to better position itself as a leader and key technology enabler of highly compelling AR experiences.”

Hongquan Jiang, Partner at Robert Bosch Venture Capital GmbH, said: “We are deeply impressed by WaveOptics technology and products, and see its huge potential in many enterprise applications”

Simon King, Investment Manager at Octopus Ventures, said: "At Octopus we look to back unusually talented entrepreneurs and we've been impressed by Sumanta and his colleagues at WaveOptics. We believe there is a real opportunity at the moment to make Augmented Reality a true reality, and look forward to working with the team over the coming years."

About WaveOptics

WaveOptics has demonstrated a disruptive process for designing and manufacturing stunningly beautiful and truly wearable see through AR displays. The technology is based upon close to three years of research undertaken by the founders in conjunction with over 50 years of cumulative team experience in the field of optics with a specific focus on head mounted and head-up displays. WaveOptics is now focused on executing on their display and scalability advantage to position themselves as the enabler of mass adoption for wearable Augmented Reality.

About Imperial Innovations

Imperial Innovations Group plc (“Innovations”) creates, builds and invests in pioneering technology companies and licensing opportunities developed from outstanding scientific research from the 'Golden Triangle', the geographical region broadly bounded by London, Cambridge and Oxford. This area has an unrivalled cluster of outstanding academic research and technology businesses, and is home to four of the world’s top 10 universities, as well as leading research institutions, the cream of the UK’s science and technology businesses and many of its leading investors.

Innovations supports scientists and entrepreneurs in the commercialisation of their ideas, through the licensing of intellectual property, by leading the formation of new companies, by recruiting high-calibre management teams and by providing investment and encouraging co-investment. Innovations remains an active investor over the life of its portfolio companies, with the majority of Innovations’ investment going into businesses in which it is already a shareholder.

Since becoming a public company in 2006, Innovations has raised more than £346.0 million of equity from investors, which has enabled it to invest in some of the most exciting spin-outs to come out of UK academic research. In addition, the Group has agreed £80.0 million in loan facilities from the European Investment Bank (EIB).

Between Innovations’ admission to AIM (August 2006) and 31 July 2015, Innovations has invested a total of £236.8 million across its portfolio companies, which have raised collectively investment of £1.3 billion.

About Robert Bosch Venture Capital GmbH (RBVC)

Robert Bosch Venture Capital GmbH (RBVC) is the corporate venture capital company of the Bosch Group, a leading global supplier of technology and services. RBVC invests worldwide in innovative start-up companies at all stages of their development. Its investment activities focus on technology companies working in areas of business of current and future relevance for Bosch, above all, automation and electrification, energy efficiency, enabling technologies, and healthcare systems. RBVC also invests in services and business models as well as new materials that are relevant to the above-mentioned areas of business.

About Octopus Ventures

At Octopus Ventures we look for unusually talented teams intent on building businesses that can scale explosively to create, transform or dominate an industry. In recent years we have been fortunate to back the founding teams of over 50 companies across Europe including Zoopla Property Group, Secret Escapes, SwiftKey and graze.com.

We can invest from £250,000 to £25 million in a first round of funding and will look to follow in subsequent rounds. We are proud to be known as one of the most entrepreneur friendly investors in Europe and a significant part of our portfolio consists of referrals from existing teams we work with or serial entrepreneurs who we have previously backed.

Octopus Ventures is part of the Octopus group. Octopus is a fast-growing UK fund management business with leading positions in several specialist sectors including property finance, healthcare, energy and smaller company investing. Founded in 2000, Octopus manages more than £5.5 billion of funds on behalf of 50,000 investors.

About Blippar

Blippar™ is the world’s fastest growing image recognition and augmented reality app. Utilizing proprietary, best-in-class image technologies, Blippar™ enables users to instantaneously pull interactive, informative digital content directly from the environment around them, their favorite publications, brands and objects via their iOS, Android or Windows devices. Since launching in the UK in 2011, Blippar™ has expanded rapidly, partnering with some of the biggest and most exciting media owners and brands in the world -- including Nestlé, Condé Nast, TIME Inc., Procter & Gamble, Kraft, Heinz, PepsiCo, Coca-Cola, Anheuser Busch, and Jaguar.