Nreal, just secured $40 million from a group of high-profile investors in a Series B round that could potentially bring more adoption to its portable augmented headsets.
Leading the round was Kuaishou, the archrival to TikTok’s Chinese version Douyin, GP Capital, which counts state-owned financial holding group Shanghai International Group and major Chinese movie studio Hengdian Group as investors; CCEIF Fund, set up by state-owned telecom equipment maker China Electronics Corporation and state-backed investment bank China International Capital Corporation; GL Ventures, the early-stage fund set up by prominent private equity firm Hillhouse Capital; and Sequoia Capital China.
Just like other major video streaming sites around the world, Kuaishou and iQiyi have dabbled in making augmented reality content, and securing a hardware partner will no doubt be instrumental to their early experiments.
That’s not it. In early 2019, Nreal brought onboard Xiaomi founder’s venture fund Shunwei Capital for its $15 million Series A funding. The other key partner of Nreal, a three-year-old company, is Qualcomm. The chipmaker has played an active part in China’s 5G rollout, powering major Chinese phone makers’ next-gen handsets. It supplies Nreal with its Snapdragon processors, allowing the startup’s lightweight mixed reality glasses to easily plug into an Android phone.
“Its closer partnership with Qualcomm will allow it to access Qualcomm’s network of customers including telecoms companies,” Seewan Toong, an industry consultant on AR and VR, told TechCrunch.
Indeed, the mixed reality developer has already signed a deal with Japanese telco KDDI and in Korean, it’s working with LG’s cellular carrier LG Uplus Corp.
The latest round brings Nreal’s total raise to more than $70 million and will accelerate mass adoption of its mixed reality technology in the 5G era, the company said