Tencent and Lenovo lead USD 50 million investment in Meta AR

Silicon Valley based startup Meta announced on Monday that it has secured Series B financing of USD 50 million. Meta are a leader in the field of augmented reality (AR), rivalling their competitors Microsoft HoloLens and Magic Leap.

Investors include Tencent, Lenovo, and Horizons Ventures. Horizons Ventures is a Hong Kong based VC firm backed by Li Ka-Shing; they led Meta’s Series A financing in 2015.

“It is incredibly gratifying to have the support of big thinkers and investors who understand the importance of creating a new human-computer interface, anchored in science,” said Meta’s CEO Meron Gribetz.

“The combination of our advanced optical engines, along with our neuroscience-based interface design approach, are what will create a computing experience that is 100x easier to use and more powerful than traditional form factors.”

Winning a standing ovation at its debut this February, the AR headset Meta 2 allows users to see, grab, and move holograms – our senses are effectively extended into the machine. It could help architects build models or help medical students to study the structure of human brain. It could change the way people work, entertain themselves, and communicate.

While Meta 2 still tethers users to a computer, Gribetz said that the new funding will support the development of a more advanced headset for Meta 3 that works independently, without the need of a direct connection to a computer. The new investment will also help fund advancements in both hardware and software.

Gribetz expects AR headsets will replace PCs and smartphones within five years, and believes that Asia, particularly China, may act as a crucial accelerator to this process.

According to Goldman Sachs, the market for VR/AR Helmet-Mounted Displays has the potential to reach over USD 100 billion annually by 2025, covering areas including video games, live events, video entertainment, retail, real estate, healthcare, education, military, and engineering.

(Top photo from YouTube)

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