Augmented reality and virtual reality have been the subject of a lot of hype from proponents who advocate its inevitability as a mainstream platform.
With over $1.1 billion invested in the space in the last two months according to Digi-Capital, it seems that the growing class of VR/AR evangelists includes investors. Now, $793.5 million of this sum was a single Series C in the augmented reality powerhouse Magic Leap, but the report details that even without this raise the AR/VR space is raising cash significantly faster than it was in 2015.
Compare the $1.1B of the last couple months to 2015’s $692 million in funding and you see the dramatic increase in raising in this space. The report details that in addition to Magic Leap’s hefty chunk of the pie, a lot of cash was invested in AR/VR services, VR hardware, advertising/marketing, distribution, video, peripherals, apps and games.
Virtual reality has seen a rise to prominence in the last couple years thanks largely to the efforts of Oculus, HTC and Sony in producing gaming platforms that are all seeing consumer releases in the coming months.
Magic Leap’s is an obvious outlier here with its $1.39 billion in funds raised so far eclipsing the totals of AR/VR investment seen in the entirety of 2015 and 2016 thus far. Though it can’t be expected that investments will keep the pace sent in the past two months, Magic Leap’s monster round shouldn’t be discounted as a fluke that just skews the graph, it’s more representative of the excitement directed towards the future adoption rates of augmented reality tech in general. It’s worth noting that Magic Leap hasn’t even released a product or dev kit yet, all of this investment is coming from investors under NDAs who like what they see behind closed doors.
The viability of AR/VR as a platform is seeing major endorsements as many highly-trusted institutional investors back up tech soothsayers’ rhetoric with cold, hard cash. The pace of investment is heightening, and with analysts continuing to forecast great leaps in revenue generation coming from the virtual/augmented reality, so are expectations.