Funding bubble bursts for billion-dollar AR start-up Blippar

  • UK tech company Blippar has officially entered administration following a reported dispute over ongoing funding.

    Augmented reality tech start-up Blippar was founded in 2011 and rapidly grew to be valued at over a billion US dollars, with significant financial support from global investor Qualcomm and a Malaysian sovereign wealth fund. Blippar got in on the augmented reality craze at just the right time and initially impressed investors with its augmented reality app that displays information about everyday objects and displays advertisements.

    This week the company announced that it's insolvent and has officially entered administration. So what happened? In a company statement, Blippar blamed the actions of a single unnamed shareholder on the financial meltdown, saying that "funding was secured, but it ultimately required shareholders’ approval for Blippar to access it. Regrettably, one shareholder voted against the additional funding, effectively blocking the investment."

    BBC Technology correspondant Rory Cellan-Jones has another take on the story, highlighting the fact that Blippar has been leapfrogged by much larger companies in the AR space and pointing to evidence of a lack of focus at the company. One past employee accused Blippar of changing strategies so often that it eroded trust from employees and investments, and the company had diverted resources to other projects such as launching its own facial recognition service and opening a Silicon Valley office.

    Source: Blippar, BBC Technology, Belfast Telegraph

    About the author

    Brendan is a Sync NI writer with a special interest in the gaming sector, programming, emerging technology, and physics. To connect with Brendan, feel free to send him an email or follow him on Twitter.

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