Alibaba, Nio, Kuaishou backed AR glasses maker Nreal banks $60 million funding

March 30, 2022 0 Comments

On March 30, Nreal, an AR(Augmented Reality) glasses maker founded in 2017, announced its recent financing round has fruited 60 million USD, led by Alibaba. Nreal has banked a total of $200 million in funding in the last 12 months, previous backers include Sequoia Capital China, Kuaishou, iQiyi, Nio capital, Alibaba founder Jack Ma’s Yunfeng Capital, and Xiaomi founder Lei Jun’s Shunwei Capital. Despite being a Chinese company, Nreal has previously focused on overseas markets, including countries such as Germany, Spain, Japan, and South Korea. 

Nreal has not launched its glasses in domestic markets yet, but according to a CNBC report last year, the company “[plans to enter that (China) market next year, and also the U.S. and maybe more countries as well,]” per CNBC, citing Xu Chi, CEO of Nreal and Magic Leap veteran.

Nreal lived up to its promises and has launched $599 Nreal Light glasses in the US, through a partnership with Verizon at the end of 2021. However, the Nreal light glasses, like the company’s other products, only support pairing with Android devices which have USB-C connections, run Android 9 or later, support DisplayPort (DP), and are powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 or later.

In China, Nreal has formed strategic partnerships with Migu Culture Technology, a subsidiary of China Mobile, and EV maker Nio, a financial backer of Nreal. In June 2021, China Mobile Beijing, Migu, and Nreal jointly hosted a UEFA Euro 2020 themed event, bringing virtual viewing experiences to audiences. Nreal has also customized AR glasses for Nio’s upcoming car model ET5, with a launch date set in September this year, according to Nio’s official website. 

Previously, Nreal has also partnered with DingTalk, an intelligent working platform by Alibaba, to launch a special edition of Nreal light AR glasses. The glasses are powered by Nreal’s own operations system Nebula with over 8,000 developers and run DingTalk WorkSpace, allowing users to engage in virtual remote video conferencing, while projecting live audio and video captured by cameras impeded in Nreal light.

Picture: Nreal

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