Magic Leap earned almost $800 million in the latest funding round from investors. With the new funding, the Florida-based startup company now has a valuation of $4.5 billion.
The latest funding came after a $542 million worth of investment in 2014, which gave the company a valuation of about $2 billion.
Now, the current investors are led by the Alibaba Group, which will also add one of its executives to the augmented reality startup's board as part of the new partnership.
"We are excited to welcome Alibaba as a strategic partner to help introduce Magic Leap's breakthrough products to the over 400 million people on Alibaba's platforms," said Rony Abovitz, founder, CEO and president of Magic Leap.
Apart from Alibaba, other investors include Google, Qualcomm, Warner Bros, Fidelity Management and Research Company, Morgan Stanley Investment Management and J.P. Morgan Investment Management.
Magic Leap is developing augmented or mixed reality technologies wherein the virtual world becomes layered on top of the physical world. Consumers will be able to experience the said technology by wearing a specially designed headgear. With the new funding, the company can now accelerate its production and supply chain while planning ahead for the future.
"This investment will accelerate bringing our new Mixed Reality Lightfield experience to everyone," said Abovitz.
The Series B funding round from 2014 helped Magic Leap to transition from designing the product technology and early vision to its development, production stage and panel production. The latest funding round will not only speed up production, but will also bring sustainability in the long term.
Magic Leap has the ambitious goal of building a "full stack" technology, which includes developing major details such as the operating system and optics. There are of course certain challenges to realize this goal, such as transforming the product from a research lab prototype into a consumer item that should be both affordable and comfortable.
Magic Leap previously released some demo videos that showcase the company's mixed reality technology. These include making a giant whale swim through a school gymnasium, creating a solar system model that can float above a desk and witnessing a shooting game right inside the user's home.
According to the company, the type of technology that it uses is called "digital lightfield," which can directly project an image to the retina of the user. This allows the technology to deliver a more natural feel as compared to interacting with devices since the user can still see the real world together with the virtual one. Abovitz described the experience as "part-Matrix, part-Harry Potter."