Magic Leap raises $500M and unveils Magic Leap 2 AR headset for next year

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Magic Leap raised $ 500 million at a valuation of $ 2 billion and unveiled its Magic Leap 2 AR headset for next year.

CEO Peggy Johnson told CNBC that some customers are trying out the new headset and general availability would happen in 2022.

“This investment is an important step in advancing Magic Leap’s mission to transform the way we work,” Johnson said in a statement. “Since I joined Magic Leap in 2020, my focus has been on accelerating the company’s shift to the corporate market, strengthening our technological foundation and building a robust business across sectors ranging from healthcare and manufacturing to defense and the public sector. With ongoing support from our existing investors, Magic Leap will have greater financial flexibility and the resources needed to continue our growth path as we expand our industry-leading AR technology. ”

Magic Leap has been through a whirlwind. The company was founded in 2010 by Rony Abovitz and set out to be a pioneer in augmented reality and mixed reality technologies. Abovitz raised $ 2.6 billion in several rounds and developed Magic Leap One, a mixed reality headset that debuted in August 2018.

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Above: Peggy Johnson is the CEO of Magic Leap.

Image Credit: Magic Leap

But sales were slow for the $ 2,295 unit as consumers did not dive into the expensive technology. Finally, in April 2020, Magic Leap decided to close its consumer division and fired about 1,000 employees or half of the workforce. In May 2020, Abovitz announced that he would replace himself as CEO (while remaining on the board), just as the company was given a major lifeline with a $ 350 million increase.

In September 2020, the Board of Directors appointed Peggy Johnson as CEO. She is a former Microsoft CEO and this was part of a plan to double the corporate markets. Companies are more likely to buy expensive AR headsets because they can see the value in applications such as AR training, which can be used to replace expensive training programs for new employees that can cost tens of thousands of dollars or more.

But there is a lot of competition as there are rivals like Varjo, Microsoft HoloLens and ongoing research into competitive products at places like Facebook and Apple. The big platform companies are undoubtedly willing to invest as much as or more than Magic Leap, as AR is one of the challengers to become the next generation of computing.

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