Home Startups Saudi Arabia's PIF to invest $400m in virtual reality start-up

Saudi Arabia's PIF to invest $400m in virtual reality start-up

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Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund are discussion with Magic Leap for an investment of $400m, according to reports in the Financial Times.

Magic Leap is developing virtual reality glasses and, although a pair has yet to go on sale, they have managed to secure in excess of $2.3bn in funding already.

The cash injection by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund is expected to be unveiled in the coming weeks and will be based on a company valuation of $6bn.

It means they would join high-profile investors like Alibaba, Google and Fidelity in backing Magic Leap.

Magic Leap’s glasses are being described as “mixed reality” and feature what it calls “digital lightfield” technology, which enables the wearer to view virtual objects in real-world settings.

The company is also said to be developing a headset, but what seems to be really exciting investors is the software and optics systems that power the digital lightfield visuals within such a small device.

Earlier this month, Magic Leap struck a partnership deal with the NBA, the US basketball league, showing off a promotional video featuring player Shaquille O’Neal wearing its futuristic goggles.

PIF are no strangers to the tech start-up scene in the US having invested some $3.5bn into Uber back in 2016. The $230bn wealth fund has been at the centre of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman‘s effort to diversify the kingdom’s economy away from oil.

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