In the world of startups, holy goal for any start-up entrepreneur is to have his idea being considered a unicorn. There are also RABBITs (Real Actual Business Building Interesting Tech), and it seems to us that 2016 will see the unlikely battle of how many unicorns can become rabbits.
To bring any idea to the market is a very difficult process, regardless of how much money you have. However, in the case of MagicLeap, Inc. – you can see that their idea is building steam worth billions of dollars. Following a $542 million ‘Series B’ round which was lead by Google (Series B funding: Andreessen Horowitz, Legendary Entertainment, KPCB, Obvious Ventures, Qualcomm), MagicLeap just became a receiver of the biggest ‘Series C’ round in history. The company attracted $793.5 million in a round lead by Alibaba, Warner Bros, while Google and Qualcomm also participated in the round.
These two rounds attracted not just $1,36 billion, but have also brought quite the famous names to the Board of Directors and Executive team. Sundar Pichai (CEO, Google), Joe Tsai (Executive Vice Chairman, Alibaba), Rio Caraeff (ex-CEO, Vevo) are all participating in building a ‘lightweight wearable that creates a mixed reality, a world where digital content and physical objects interact with each other’.
With Facebook investing $2 billion to outright buy Oculus, LLC – the question lies what is the real evaluation of Magic Leap, Inc. – and how much more investment will be needed to bring the “Mixed Reality” device to market. Valve teamed with HTC to create the Steam VR platform, which is taking an estimated 450-650 million to bring to the market ($20.4 million were spent on free dev kits to content developers), Oculus spent an estimated 170 million to bring the Rift HMD to the market. Magic Leap is much more aggressive and it is embedding themselves with Legendary Pictures and Warner Bros, which we all know as content power-houses from the world of blockbuster movies and TV shows. Thus, can we expect future Mixed Reality experiences such as upcoming hits from Legendary/WB such as Batman v Superman, Suicide Squad and many more. Exciting times ahead.