Mobilizy, maker of Wikitude, raises major funding round

Mobilizy, the Austrian based company behind Wikitude, one of the leading Augmented Reality browsers in Europe and a direct competitor to well-known Layar from the Netherlands, has just raised an undisclosed round of funding from Austrian VC Gamma Capital Partners and tecnet Capital as a co-Investor.

It’s Mobilizy’s first round and will be used for developing their two core products, the World browser and their AR-based navigation system and for pushing their worldwide rollout. The deal was led by M&A boutique TheMerger and is said to be between €1 and €5 million.

Layar, which has raised a significant amount in early 2010, is expanding rapidly and is on its way to becoming the predominant player in AR in Europe. Yet Wikitude’s navigational browser has gained significant traction throughout the few last months. According to a recent survey by ARCchart, revenues generated from mobile phone Augmented Reality apps will reach $2,2 billion by 2015 – an impressive number and an indicator that there’s lots of room for startups in this space.

Mobilizy has also tackled some management problems recently. Founder and first-time CEO Philipp Breuss-Schneeweis made way for Andy Gstoll, a former executive at various gaming and media companies. Breuss-Schneeweis comments on the deal:

“We are excited that we have teamed up with a partner who shares our
passion and vision for creating the best augmented reality experience
for our users. Together we are going to invest in the development and
rollout of our augmented reality platform, applications and SDK. With
our upcoming navigation products we will be able to attract new users
and will be able to build new partnerships with enabling partners. Our
key products will be combined into a unified experience, combining
semantic and visual technologies to increase the precision and
versatility of our offerings.”

AR is definitely one of the hot topics these days, yet the technology itself has been employed by Universities around the world for years. What’s changed is that startups like Mobilizy or Layar are finding real-world use cases and monetization models.