Oct 8 Laura Takki
Latest investment, led by Atomico, sees new strategic investor Next47 joining the round with participation from Series A investors EQT Ventures and Lifeline Ventures. Varjo is collaborating with Airbus, Audi, Lilium, Saab, Sellen, Volkswagen and Volvo Cars to optimize VR technology for their industries.
Varjo™ (“shadow” in Finnish, pronounced “Var-yo”) Technologies, who presented the biggest company launch of the year at Slush 2017, today announced a $31m Series B investment, led by Atomico™, to bring to market the world’s first human-eye resolution VR / XR (virtual reality and mixed reality) product. It will also be the world’s first VR / XR hardware and software product specifically aimed at industrial use, with the power to transform work in complex and design-driven industries including simulation and training, architecture, automotive, aerospace, manufacturing, engineering and construction, and industrial design.
The last time Atomico invested in a Finnish company took place back in 2013, when Supercell raised series B by $130M.
This latest investment brings total funds raised to date by the Helsinki-based startup to $46m. Next47™, the Siemens®- backed global venture firm, is a new investor joining the round. Series A investors the EQT™ Ventures fund (“EQT Ventures”) and Lifeline™ Ventures also participated.
The Series B investment will be used to scale Varjo’s 80-strong hardware and software teams to more than 200 over the next 12 months, and to finance the global launch and go-to-market of Varjo’s first product.
The product will be an industrial-grade VR / XR headset that allows professionals, in sectors from aerospace to architecture, to work in human eye-resolution virtual or mixed reality when designing new products. The headset can be integrated with the world’s most popular 3D engines and software tools. Unlike devices such as Magic Leap™, HoloLens™, and HTC®Vive Pro, Varjo’s product can be used in fields where extreme precision and visual fidelity are paramount.
“We hope that the impact of our hardware and software platform on industry will be as profound as the introduction of the Graphical User Interface,” said Varjo co-founder and CEO, Urho Konttori. “At Varjo we’re extremely proud to welcome Atomico, Europe’s most experienced VC, and industry icon Siemens, to our mission of launching a new era of immersive computing for professionals.”
Varjo is already collaborating with leading firms such as Airbus®, Audi®, Lilium®, Saab®, Sellen®, Volkswagen® and Volvo® Cars to optimize the headset for their respective business sectors and needs.
“The resolution of VR devices on the market today is a fraction of what the average human eye can see,” said Atomico Founding Partner and CEO, Niklas Zennström. “Until we met Varjo’s visionary founders and experienced their superior product firsthand, we thought that VR was still at least 10 years away from being truly useful for professionals. It’s because of Varjo’s world class team that industries such as automotive, engineering, aerospace, architecture, construction, industrial design and real-world training simulations won’t have to wait that long to be able to utilize the technology for their business-critical use cases.”
“Decisions are the daily challenge in a product development process. Supporting virtual development means to deliver the highest available quality to enable reliable decisions. Varjo’s technology is convincing and will help us to close the existing gaps and speed up our development cycles using the advantages of a continuous virtual process,” said Jan Pflueger, Coordination Augmented and Virtual Reality Center Of Competence at Audi.
Varjo will launch its VR headset in late Q4, 2018, with an AR/XR add-on to the headset available in the first half of 2019. The current available prototype has an effective resolution of 50 megapixels per eye, over twenty times that of consumer devices.
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