Augmented reality startup WaveOptics has raised £12 million

WaveOptics

WaveOptics, an Oxford-based augmented reality startup, has raised £12 million in a Series B round for its display tech.

Existing backers Octopus Ventures, Touchstone Innovations, and Robert Bosch Venture Capital took part in the round. China’s Gobi Ventures also took part for the first time. 

WaveOptics made headlines in 2015 as a maker of smart spectacles, but the company has changed tack to focus on the underlying display technology instead. Specifically, it’s working on giving augmented reality glasses and headsets a “wider field of view” and bright, full-colour images.

Anyone who’s tried Microsoft’s AR headset, HoloLens, will know that the field of view is limited to a small window — so if WaveOptics succeeds, it’s a big step forward for augmented reality. 

WaveOptics will use its funding to expand to new markets.

Business Insider spotted that another augmented reality startup, Blippar, had been an early investor in WaveOptics.

Blippar invested an undisclosed amount in June 2015, and then again in December 2015, according to public statements. Companies House filings show Blippar and its cofounders Ambarish Mitra and Omar Tayeb as shareholders in September 2016. But the company isn’t listed among WaveOptics’ investors for the Series B round.

At the time, Blippar said WaveOptics would be developing wearables for it in future.

A WaveOptics spokeswoman said the company was working on AR display components that “will be available to go into a range of different hardware options from the first half of next year”. She wouldn’t comment on whether the company was developing wearables for Blippar.

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