20th September 2018
Swiss tech company raises $80m for holographic AR displays in cars
WayRay, a car display technology company headquartered in Switzerland, has announced $80 million in Round C funding. This new investment – from companies including Porsche, Hyundai Motor, Alibaba and China Merchants Capital – will boost R&D, industrialisation and team expansion, allowing WayRay to supply futuristic, holographic AR solutions for cars.
Porsche first joined forces with WayRay for a pilot project at Startup Autobahn, Europe's biggest platform for automotive innovation. Now the premium German car manufacturer is leading the next investment round, along with China Merchants Capital – one of the largest Chinese investment companies. Since its inception in 2012, the Swiss startup has raised over $100 million. By the end of 2019, the company hopes to achieve a $1 billion valuation.
For its transition from startup to scaleup, WayRay plans to establish an affiliate with a pilot production line in Germany. It will also begin to diversify its portfolio of applications in different sectors – from AR in transportation to AR smart glass in homes, businesses and the construction industry.
WayRay's holographic AR creates a true augmented reality experience, where virtual objects are seamlessly integrated into the world around a car. Compared to the conventional HUDs (head-up displays) available on the market, WayRay's technology boasts a smaller projection system, which can be installed in almost any car model. Its exceedingly wide field of view allows for displaying more virtual objects at a comfortable distance for drivers' eyes. There are currently no other technologies capable of matching those parameters. Another key competitive advantage of WayRay's solutions is the customisability for both drivers and passengers, conventional vehicles and self-driving cars, consumers (aftermarket) and businesses (OEMs).
"WayRay has remarkable expertise in both hardware and software development for holographic AR display systems," said Dr. Youngcho Chi, the Chief Innovation Officer and Executive Vice President of Hyundai Motor Group. "This collaboration will help us establish a brand-new ecosystem that harnesses AR technology to enhance not only navigation systems, but also establish an AR platform for smart city and smart mobility, which are Hyundai Motor Group's new business interests and will provide innovative customer experiences."
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