Secretive Florida-based startup Magic Leap is in the process of expanding its war chest to the tune of $827 million in additional funding, according to documents filed in Delaware today and obtained by private market researcher VC Experts. If successful, Magic Leap's total funding would soar close to $1.4 billion after its initial cash injection of $542 million in a Google-led investment round last fall. Magic Leap has yet to show off any prototypes of its product to the public save to a select few reporters. The device is said to be a type of glasses that can project realistic virtual images in front of the wearer's eyes and intelligently blend the objects with the real world.
The documents don't indicate who may be investing in Magic Leap this time around, although reports in October suggested Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba was close to putting $200 million into the company. Magic Leap's other investors, which include chipmaker Qualcomm and movie studio Legendary, paint the picture of a startup that wants to reshape both computing and entertainment in a way virtual reality may not be capable of. At the WSJD conference in October, Magic Leap showed off direct capture footage shot through its device, showing a floating representation of the Solar System.
It's difficult to comprehend how Magic Leap could amass so much money while not having publicly disclosed concrete details about its device. But it's safe to say Google's significant financial involvement indicates Magic Leap may be one of the most ambitious augmented reality startups in the world, if or when it gets around to revealing what's it's done with all that money and talent. Its only tangible analog in the industry is Microsoft's HoloLens headset, but Magic Leap CEO Rony Abovitz has publicly criticized Microsoft's technical approach to AR in the past.