DigiLens aims to bring enterprise and consumer smart glasses to market at a realistic price point
➨DigiLens has closed its first series D funding round, taking the company’s value to more than $500 million
➨ A diverse range of investors joined Samsung Electronics in the funding round, including Samsung Electro-Mechanics, Diamond Edge Ventures, and the strategic investment arm of Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings Corporation
➨ Samsung Electronics is taking a seat on the DigiLens board and will collaborate on devices
DigiLens, a developer of head-worn holographic display and waveguide technology, has closed its first series D funding round, with investment from Samsung Electronics and other investors taking the company’s value to more than $500 million.
A diverse range of investors joined Samsung Electronics in the funding round, including Samsung Electro-Mechanics, Diamond Edge Ventures, and the strategic investment arm of Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings Corporation, which is a key partner in the creation of plastic waveguides.
Their participation demonstrates the belief in and potential of DigiLens’s “optical technologies that are essential to deploying smart glass augmented reality (AR) and extended reality (XR) devices at scale”, according to chief executive officer Chris Pickett.
He continues, emphasising participation of Samsung Electronics, which is taking a seat on the DigiLens board and will collaborate on devices: “The waveguide display optics are the most difficult and important step in developing head worn hardware.”
“We’re excited to be working with Samsung Electronics during this next critical step of the category creation process. Samsung’s innovative nature and proven track record of manufacturing mobile devices at a global scale will unlock value for the whole industry. Bringing smart glasses to market will require an ecosystem approach in order to hit the timelines, volumes, and cost structure required for consumer devices.”
“This funding round puts the necessary pieces in place to finally bring enterprise and consumer smart glasses to market at a realistic price point.”
The DigiLens technology portfolio includes thin, light-weight, high-performance, low-cost, and highly manufacturable waveguide displays, according to the company. These are the kind that are essential if AR smart glasses are going to be adopted by consumers and enterprise customers en masse.
California, USA-based headquartered DigiLens also says that its proprietary photopolymer and holographic contact copy manufacturing process is more cost-effective and scalable than other waveguide solutions on the market, enabling smaller, lighter, thinner, brighter, and more efficient lenses.
Although undisclosed, the level of this new investment indicates that DigiLens’s investors agree with the company’s assessment of its own technology.
Hark Sang Kim, executive vice president at Samsung Electronics, says: “At Samsung, we develop and innovate technologies that provide unmatched value for our global customers and enable experiences that go beyond what they expect. We are very pleased to invest in and collaborate with DigiLens to prepare differentiated and competitive AR devices.”
He adds: “I’m pleased to be joining the board of directors at DigiLens and I’m committed to strengthening the close bond between our two companies.”
DigiLens intends to use this additional finding to take a “significant step toward being the core technology ingredient that will soon be inside XR hardware produced by a global ecosystem of contract manufacturers, OEMs, and content providers”, according to a press release.
The company has created the Design v1 developer smart glasses to demonstrate the capabilities of its technology and enable XR content creation. These, coupled with the T-REx (Transparent Resolution Expander) solid state wobbulation breakthrough, helped create momentum for its series D funding round. Watch a video on Design v1 below.
A second close is scheduled to be completed near the end of 2021 to allow other strategic investors to join the funding round.