Google Leads $542 Million Funding Round For AI Startup Magic Leap

Magic Leap, a start-up focused on augmented reality technology, said it has raised a $542 million funding round led by Google.

Android and Chrome leader Sundar Pichai will join Magic Leap's board, as will Google's Corporate Development Vice President Don Harrison. The funding also comes directly from Google, not from its Google Ventures investment arm.

Investors in the latest round also included mobile chipmaker Qualcomm Ventures and Legendary Entertainment, as well as a personal investment from CEO Thomas Tull, KKR, Vulcan Capital, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Andreessen Horowitz, Obvious Ventures, and other investors. Allen & Company LLC and Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC served as financial advisors to Magic Leap in connection with the transaction.

When magic dragons fly comes to mind when thinking about the technology. Rony Abovitz, president, CEO and founder of Magic Leap, believes the company can build technology to transcend "the current perception of mobile computing, augmented reality, and virtual reality" to revolutionize the way people communicate, purchase, learn, share and play.

Not much is known about the company. On the company's Web site, which glosses over the details, Abovitz reminisces his childhood where "great movies could transport you to whole new worlds and universes. Books, comics, and art meant creative freedom. Computing meant total personal freedom with technology: I could create something new and share it with my friends."

A recent blog post provides a glimpse into the technology, which sounds similar to Facebook's acquisition of Oculus and the technology behind Google's disposable cardboard model distributed at the I/O conference in June. Among the fantasy and magic, "the real world that was the most magical and amazing," he wrote. "An encounter with a horse on a farm, being with an eagle and her nest at Cape Canaveral, and kayaking with a pod of dolphins in the Florida Keys. Fireflies at night bested any display."

Earlier this year, Magic Leap closed its Series A round of venture capital. Until this most recent infusion, the company had raised more than $50 million in its series seed and A rounds to develop its proprietary technology platform, from a press release from earlier this year.

Prior to starting Magic Leap, Abovitz also co-founded and led the development and technology for MAKO Surgical, a maker of human-interactive robotics for orthopedic surgery. The company was acquired by Stryker for $1.65 billion in December 2013.

2 comments about "Google Leads $542 Million Funding Round For AI Startup Magic Leap".
Check to receive email when comments are posted.
  1. David Ip from Conversant, October 22, 2014 at 12:41 p.m.

    Should the title be "AR" startup instead of "AI" startup?

  2. Laurie Sullivan from lauriesullivan, October 22, 2014 at 12:47 p.m.

    Magic Leap's Web site describes them as supporting both. I had to choose an acronym, so AI won.

Next story loading loading..