Ubiquity6, an augmented-reality startup building a platform for people to create and interact in shared AR spaces connected to the real world, announced $27 million in Series B funding.
The latest round was led by VC firms Benchmark and Index Ventures. Ubiquity6 previously raised $10.5 million round in March from investors including Jeffrey Katzenberg-led holding company WndrCo, Index Ventures, First Round Capital, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, and Gradient Ventures.
Ubiquity6 says its secret sauce is providing a way to enable a massively shared AR experience that persists over time. The startup’s engineering team built the platform using advanced machine-learning techniques to locate a user’s phone and its physical surroundings.
The San Francisco-based company was founded in July 2017 by CEO Anjney Midha and CTO Ankit Kumar.
“Augmented reality could be one of the greatest inventions of our time, but there is no clear path to mass adoption,” Midha said in a statement. “We believe that leveraging the millions of smartphones already in consumers’ hands to create a meaningful shared experience is how we will unlock AR’s full potential.”
Previously, Midha was an investing partner at Kleiner Perkins, where he founded the firm’s dedicated seed fund KPCB Edge and worked with AR, VR and computer vision companies including Magic Leap and TheWaveVR. Kumar has a background in deep learning, computer vision, and high-scale distributed systems, having received an undergraduate degree in mathematics from Stanford University.
On Aug. 9, Ubiquity6 demonstrated a beta preview of its technology for the first time at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art through PlaySFMOMA, the museum’s initiative to encourage development of experimental games. More than 100 attendees stepped into the surrealist world of René Magritte to see his signature green apple and bowler hat through the Ubiquity6 app on their phones and build a virtual world with others at the event. Watch video of the SFMOMA event below (and at this link):
Users interested in participating in Ubiquity6’s public beta can sign up on its website at ubiquity6.com.
With the funding, Benchmark general partner Mitch Lasky, previously an exec with Disney, Activision and Electronic Arts, will join the Ubiquity6 board. According to Lasky, Ubiquity6 has stood out from other AR and VR companies “both for the boldness of their vision and for the broad applicability of their technology.”
“Not only has the team tackled complex technical hurdles, they’ve identified a business opportunity to create shared experiences easily from a mobile phone, making augmented reality a platform for creation, not simply consumption,” Lasky said.