Select Page
Snapchat Said to Acquire Israeli AR Startup Cimagine Media for $40M

Snapchat Said to Acquire Israeli AR Startup Cimagine Media for $40M

Startup Nation. Cimagine was founded in 2012 by Yonmi Nevi (CEO), Nir Daube (VP Prodduct) and Ozi Egri (VP R&D), bringing together a team with expertise in computer vision, real-time image processing, mobile development, international marketing and business development, from leading technology companies such as Rafael Defense Systems, HP, IBM, Dassault Systemes, P&G, Amdocs and ECI Telecom. With further support from a multi-disciplinary advisory board in the fields of retail, architecture, user experience and technology, Cimagine says it is taking augmented reality (AR) in commerce to the next level. Cimagine is said to have launched the world’s largest implementation of AR in retail to date with Shop Direct, the largest global brand AR deployment with TCCC and the world’s first augmented showroom. Cimagine has been featured by the BBC, CNBC, Wired, and NRF, and was designated as one of Israel’s most promising and notable startups by Inc, Microsoft, and Forbes. Cimagine is headquartered in Israel with a global presence in the UK, USA and Australia. Cimagine has developed the most solid AR engine available today. Its patent-pending markerless technology automatically scans and identifies surfaces in scenes captured by a user’s mobile or wearable device camera and overlays life-like 3D images of products onto real-time video. Cimagine brings intuitive AR to commerce and to enterprise through a markerless solution that is launched at the click of a button. Unlike other solutions, Cimagine’s AR engine does not require the user to print and place a reference marker in order to identify surfaces and estimate scale. By combining information from a mobile device’s internal sensors with deep image processing and applying unique computer vision algorithms, Cimagine embeds 3D objects realistically into live video scenes, anchoring them to their position. Virtual products do not drift while the user moves around a room, thereby allowing users to view items from all angles and distances in order to make informed buying decisions. Cimagine’s proprietary rendering engine supports a high poly-count of 3D assets with textures that are ten times higher than the industry standard. This allows customers to experience life-like 3D product representations that are rendered in real-time at 30fps, the industry’s highest live video rate. Products appear life-like and to scale, so customers can simply and easily see if items fit their homes and offices from different angles and perspectives. The company’s platform is delivered as a cloud-based SaaS solution. Snapchat is a photo messaging app that allows users to take photos, record videos, add text and drawings, and send them to recipients. The company was founded in 2011 by Evan Spiegel and Bobby Murphy, when they were students at Stanford University. Snapchsat is said to have raised a total of $2.65 billion in venture funding from investors including Alibaba, Saudi Prince Alwaleed’s Kingdom Holding, Yahoo, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Tencent, Benchmark, Fidelity Investments, General Atlantic, IVP, and others. In August, Snapchat acquired San Francisco-based startup Vurb, a card-based contextual search engine app for Apple and Android devices, for $110 million, as previously reported by ExitHub. In March, Snapchat agreed to acquire Bitstrips Inc., a Toronto-based maker of personalized emojis known as bitmojis, for $100 million, and in June it acquired Obvious engineering.]]>

Israeli Startup @LumusVision Raises $15M Led by Shanda Billionaire Chen Tianqiao

Israeli Startup @LumusVision Raises $15M Led by Shanda Billionaire Chen Tianqiao

Forbes ranked Chen as the 10th richest person in China in 2010, and estimates his current net worth at over $1 billion. A few weeks ago, Shanda Group, led by Chen, acquired a nearly 12% stake in out-of-favor fintech startup LendingClub (NYSE: LC), based in San Francisco. In April, Shanda acquired a 9.9% stake in Baltimore-based global asset management firm Legg Mason Inc. (NYSE: LM). In November 2015, Shanda participated in a Series C funding round for Israeli startup ElMindA, a pioneer in neuroscience-based technology for analyzing brain network functionality.]]>

Apple Acquires Special Perception Platform Flyby Media to Jump-Start VR Plans

Apple Acquires Special Perception Platform Flyby Media to Jump-Start VR Plans

Magic Leap had raised $793.5 million in a Series C funding round, led by Alibaba, Google, Qualcomm and other major investors. Two weeks ago, Oxford, UK-based WaveOptics, an augmented reality technology development startup, quietly revealed it has raised a new “multi-million pound funding round” led by Imperial Innovations Group plc, alongside Robert Bosch Venture Capital GmbH — who is also backing Flyby Media — Octopus Ventures, angel investors and existing investor, Blippar, one of the biggest companies in the augmented reality sector. London-based Kino-Mo also claims to be making holograms “affordable and available to retailers and the high street for the first time”. Flyby Media, formerly known as Ogmento, Inc., was founded in 2010 by Cole Van Nice and Oriel Bergig. Its president and CEO is Mihir Shah, former CEO at Tapjoy. Flyby developed V-Fusion, a spatial perception platform at the core of the company, which  provides mobile devices with a human-scale understanding of real world environments, enabling them to see, understand, and navigate the physical world. Along its journey, Flyby licensed components of its platform to Google’s Advanced Technology and Products Group and supported Project Tango; developed a proprietary iPhone-based product to create scalable floor plans for integration into Apple’s MapsConnect program (to enable indoor “blue dot” navigation); piloted a proprietary retail application that uses our technology for indoor proximity marketing (Shimmer); and demonstrated state-of-the-art performance on drone and car-based systems at distances of up to 10 miles. Flyby’s technology has the ability to map and localize objects from visual and inertial sensors on an iPhone. After a map of a room is created, visual, inertial and map constraints are optimized within the same framework to provide a robust, accurate and fast localization solution via a tight fusion map. Flyby has also developed the ability to provide autonomous drone visual inertial odometry solutions, and vehicle visual inertial odometry with loop closures posing graph optimization, which could conceivably be adapted for autonomous driving cars. Apple is known to have assembled a large team of experts in virtual and augmented reality and has been building prototypes of headsets to eventually challenge Facebook’s Oculus Rift and Microsoft’s Hololens initiatives. After taking over Israeli motion-sensing company PrimeSense in 2013, Apple continued to accelerate its VR and AR recruiting and dealmaking efforts, by acquiring Metaio and Faceshift.]]>

MagicLeap AR Startup Raises $793.5M Series C Led by Alibaba

MagicLeap AR Startup Raises $793.5M Series C Led by Alibaba

As recently reported by ExitHub, the holograms “arms race” is hotting up. Two weeks ago, Oxford, UK-based WaveOptics, an augmented reality technology development startup, quietly revealed it has raised a new “multi-million pound funding round” led by Imperial Innovations Group plc, alongside Robert Bosch Venture Capital GmbH, Octopus Ventures, angel investors and existing investor, Blippar, one of the biggest companies in the augmented reality sector. London-based Kino-Mo also claims to be making holograms “affordable and available to retailers and the high street for the first time”. Its Belarusian founders Kiryl Chykeyuk, 29, and Art Stavenka, 30, were recently praised by Virgin billionaire Richard Branson for their eye-catching technology, winning his 2015 Pich to Rich competition, and even appeared on BBC investment show Dragons’ Den, receiving three offers, which were all refused.]]>

Oxford-based AR Startup WaveOptics Quietly Raises New 'Multi-Million Pound Funding Round'

Oxford-based AR Startup WaveOptics Quietly Raises New 'Multi-Million Pound Funding Round'

Magic Leap recently unveiled a video, showing a completely realistic whale leaping out of a digital sea in a school gym. The company has raised $793.5 in new funding led by Alibaba, and is already valued at $4.5bn despite keeping its technology under wraps. London-based Kino-Mo also claims to be making holograms “affordable and available to retailers and the high street for the first time”. Its Belarusian founders Kiryl Chykeyuk, 29, and Art Stavenka, 30, were recently praised by Virgin billionaire Richard Branson for their eye-catching technology, winning his 2015 Pich to Rich competition, and even appeared on BBC investment show Dragons’ Den, receiving three offers, which were all refused, according to The Telegraph’s Enterprise Editor, Rebecca Burn-Callander. “Holograms used to be very expensive and took days to create but ours can be made within hours using standard 3D software,” claims Stavenka. “This is a breakthrough. People have loved holograms for a long time but no one could afford them. We’ve had partnership enquiries from 74 countries.”]]>