September 9, 2019 – WaveOptics, designer and manufacturer of waveguide displays, a key optical component used in Augmented Reality (AR) wearables, has closed an oversubscribed GPB £30m (USD $39m) Series C funding round. WaveOptics raised an additional GBP £10m (USD $13m) in the final stage, having raised an initial GBP £20m (USD $26m) in December 2018.
This final stage was supported by existing investor Goertek, which specializes in the design and manufacturing of high-tech consumer electronics, and new investor Hostplus, an institutional investor in Australian venture capital.
Goertek’s additional investment in this round is a significant development for the business. It follows an exclusive manufacturing partnership between WaveOptics and Goertek agreed on 28 November 2018, that will enable the mass production of waveguides for AR wearables at a price point for mass market adoption.
WaveOptics stated that the funds raised will allow the company to scale its business operations in the UK, US and Asia, and build a high volume manufacturing capability. WaveOptics is able to match its global partners ambitions by enabling them to bring the next generation of AR wearable devices to market as they move from product prototyping to launching enterprise and consumer AR devices.
David Hayes, WaveOptics CEO, commented: “Completing the Series C funding is another important step for the business, enabling us to accelerate our growth to meet the increasing international customer demand. The oversubscription also validates the quality and potential of our technology to our partners and investors and is clear recognition of our leading position in the AR market.
“We are seeing significant progress with our customers developing their own products based on our technology. This was demonstrated in the first half of 2019 when we secured a number of significant partnerships with global OEMs and ODMs.
“This is an exciting time and we are perfectly positioned to help our customers bring to market one of the most significant technologies since the launch of the smart phone.”
WaveOptics has developed patented near-eye transparent displays that allow device manufacturers, consumer electronic companies and social media businesses to create wearable devices that combine digital imagery with the real world.
The company is continuing to expand its product portfolio and now has both a 40° and 28° field of view waveguide product, along with its own 40° light engine product. WaveOptics noted that the expansion of its product portfolio enables its customers to evaluate and speed up the prototyping process for their own AR wearable product development.
Image credit: WaveOptics