One other high-flying, closely funded AR headset startup is shutting down

Whereas Apple and Microsoft pressure to promote augmented actuality as the following main computing platform, most of the startups aiming to beat them to the punch are crashing and burning.

Daqri, which constructed enterprise-grade AR headsets, has shuttered its HQ, laid off a lot of its staff and is promoting off belongings forward of a shutdown, former staff and sources near the corporate inform TechCrunch.

In an electronic mail obtained by TechCrunch, the almost 10-year-old firm informed its clients that it was pursuing an asset sale and was shutting down its cloud and smart-glasses {hardware} platforms by the tip of September.

“I feel the massive majority of people that labored [at Daqri] are unhappy to see it closing down,” a former worker informed TechCrunch. “[I] want the tip end result was completely different.”

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The corporate’s 18,000+ sq. foot Los Angeles headquarters (above) is at the moment listed as “out there” by actual property agency Newmark Knight Frank. The corporate’s Sunnyvale places of work seem to have been shuttered someday previous to 2019.

Daqri’s shutdown is simply the most recent amongst closely funded augmented actuality startups in search of to courtroom enterprise clients.

Earlier this yr, Osterhout Design Group unloaded its AR glasses patents after acquisition talks with Magic Leap, Fb and others stalled. Meta, an AR headset startup that raised $73 million from VCs together with Tencent, additionally offered its belongings earlier this yr after the corporate ran out of money.

Daqri confronted substantial challenges from competing headset makers, together with Magic Leap and Microsoft, who have been backed by extra expansive warfare chests and institutional partnerships. Whereas the headset firm struggled to compete for enterprise clients, Daqri benefitted from investor pleasure surrounding the broader area. That’s, till the funding local weather for AR startups cooled.

Daqri was, at one level, talking with a big private-equity agency about financing forward of a possible IPO, however because the technical realities going through different AR corporations got here to gentle, the agency backed out and the deal crumbled, we’re informed.

As of mid-2017, a Wall Road Journal report detailed that Daqri had raised $275 million in funding. You received’t discover many particulars on the sources of that funding, aside from references to Tarsadia Investments, a private-equity agency in Los Angeles that took half within the firm’s sole disclosed funding spherical. We’re informed Tarsadia had taken controlling possession of the agency after subsequent investments.

In early 2016, Daqri acquired Two Timber Photonics, a small UK startup that was constructing holographic show applied sciences for automotive clients. The UK division quickly comprised a considerable portion of all the firm’s revenues, sources inform us. By early 2018, the division was spun out from Daqri as a separate firm known as Envisics, leaving the Daqri workforce to focus wholly on bringing augmented actuality to enterprise clients.

The remaining head-worn AR division failed to realize momentum after extended setbacks in adoption of its AR sensible glasses, together with difficulties in coaching employees to make use of the futuristic {hardware}, a supply informed TechCrunch.

All of the whereas, the corporate’s management placed on a courageous face because the startup sputtered. In an interview this yr with Cornell Enterprise Journal, Daqri CEO Roy Ashok informed the publication that the startup was forecasting shipments of “tens of hundreds” of pairs of its AR glasses in 2020.

Daqri, its founder and several other executives didn’t reply to requests for remark.

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