WayRay raises $80M of investment in its Series C round from Porsche, Hyundai Motor, JVCKENWOOD, Alibaba and others
The great potential and broad application of WayRay’s technologies attracted investment from leading companies in the automotive, electronics, construction, and other industries.
In September 2018, WayRay closed its US$80M Series C financing round led by German sports car giant Porsche, with participation from China Merchants Capital, Hyundai Motor, JVCKENWOOD, Alibaba Group, and the Consortium of Sovereign Wealth Funds (among them the Russia-Japan Investment Fund formed by JBIC and RDIF; Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, UAE, Bahrein). The newly raised funds will bolster the company’s focus on R&D, industrialization and team expansion, and help to establish an affiliate with a pilot production line in Germany next year.
The Swiss startup, best known for envisioning the first-ever holographic AR navigation system for cars, Navion, has set out to reshape the way people experience mobility by making driving more secure, convenient, and infotaining.
The company’s holographic AR solutions create a true augmented reality experience by integrating virtual objects into the real world. WayRay’s holographic AR head-up displays for cars surpass any conventional HUD in projection system volume, field of view, and distance from the virtual image. There is currently no other company in the industry capable of matching those parameters.
Another competitive advantage is that WayRay’s display can be customized to meet the specific integration requirements of any car model. Moreover, the AR user interface can be designed for both drivers and passengers, conventional vehicles and self-driving cars, consumers and businesses.
The WayRay-Porsche collaboration started with a pilot project at Startup Autobahn, Europe’s biggest innovation platform. Now the German premium car manufacturer is a lead investor, aiming to expand its range of digital services with WayRay as an invaluable contributor.
“We are convinced that by joining forces with WayRay we will in the future be able to offer our customers solutions to the usual standard expected of Porsche”, Lutz Meschke, Deputy Chairman and Member of the Executive Board for Finance and IT at Porsche
WayRay’s commitment to transforming any transparent surface — be it a car windshield or glass in a home — into a new medium for information lead the company to cooperate with Hyundai on advancing the AR smart glass technology. The AR smart glass installed in Hyundai’s facilities will emphasize the innovative nature of Hyundai, making it the first company in the world with an augmented reality view on things, literally.
“As a deep-tech company, we are committed to creating fundamental innovations that bring us far beyond holographic AR displays and new interfaces”, Vitaly Ponomarev, Founder & CEO of WayRay
Having established long-term partnerships with two dozen car manufacturers for developing embedded holographic AR displays, WayRay took its know-how a step further and created the first-ever True AR SDK. The toolkit will be released this fall and allow third-party developers to build their own AR apps for both conventional and self-driving cars, providing drivers and passengers with useful information (navigation, safety alerts) and infotaining content (social media notifications, points of interest, etc.).