(Bloomberg) — Augmented reality glasses maker Xreal aims to stay ahead of future devices from Apple Inc., Meta Platforms Inc. and Alphabet Inc., according to CEO Chi Xu. The company is reportedly raising new funds at a valuation of more than $1 billion. Google of .
The Chinese startup has raised $60 million in this round, bringing the total to more than $300 million, Qi said in an interview. The latest funding comes from a key supply chain partner, which he declined to identify.
“This will help us scale up our manufacturing capacity and research and development,” he said, adding that the company has enough capacity to meet this year’s demand for glasses, but is not looking to place orders for 2025. He added that funding is needed to meet the requirements.
Xreal is leading the way in augmented reality, a technology that overlays data and images onto views of the real world. According to research firm IDC, the company accounted for about half of the AR-specific device market in the third quarter of last year. In the larger market for combining virtual reality and AR, known as mixed reality, Meta is the leader, followed by Sony Group Inc. and ByteDance Inc. Xreal accounts for about 4% of the total market.
Mr Chee said his company has the capacity to produce 500,000 to 1 million units this year. This investment will enable him to produce 2 million devices next year. Chi said the company expects to generate $100 million to $150 million in revenue this year and $200 million to $300 million in 2025, and hopes to list Xreal in the U.S. within two years.
The seven-year-old company currently has approximately 600 employees and is based in Beijing. The company’s Air Glasses display notifications, games, and videos within the wearer’s field of vision. Chi said Xreal’s products benefit from more expensive technology from Magic Leap Inc. and Microsoft Corp., which sell a headset called HoloLens.
“2023 was a very good year, with the market size almost doubling,” Qi said. The company says it gets most of its sales from the Amazon.com website, where it offers AR glasses for just a few hundred dollars. However, the company believes its latest Air 2 Ultra will drive future revenue.
“We are likely to be able to produce 50,000 Ultras this year,” Chee said, adding that cheaper models are “definitely easier to sell” and mass consumers don’t want as many bells and whistles as they can afford. , he added. rival product.
Although Xreal has no plans to move into virtual reality (a more immersive technology used in Apple’s new Vision Pro), Chi said he expects his company to compete with iPhone makers in the coming years. I believe it will be.
“I think we are three to five years ahead of them in the AR space,” Chi said. “But they are catching up. So we need to catch up and push the limits.”
During the development of Vision Pro, Apple also worked on lightweight AR-specific glasses similar to those offered by Xreal. Bloomberg News reported last year that the company paused development of the device because it believed the technology wasn’t ready yet. Meta and Google said they plan to launch their own consumer AR glasses within the next few years.
©2024 Bloomberg LP