Axel Springer is investing in Magic Leap for some reason

Startups



Magic Leap is the gift that keeps on giving. The company has been working for years on augmented reality technologies and raised a gigantic pile of cash on the way. German media company Axel Springer is announcing today that it is investing an undisclosed amount in Magic Leap.

The German company is taking a stake in Magic Leap through its Axel Springer Digital Ventures division. In its press release, Axel Springer says that Magic Leap represents a good opportunity when it comes to consuming journalistic content and classifieds in a novel way (though I’m not convinced people want to read about garage sales in augmented reality).

Magic Leap showed off its first augmented reality headset in December 2017. The Magic Leap One is a headset, a belt-worn hip pack and a handheld controller. When you look at the startup’s press photos, it looks like a cumbersome device.

Many details are still unclear. For instance, the company hasn’t shared anything about pricing and software features. It’s hard to grasp the use case of the device without this information.

The Magic Leap One will be released at some point in 2018 for creators and content developers. End users won’t play around with the device just yet. The startup is targeting enthusiastic AR developers first.

Magic Leap has raised nearly $2 billion from Google, Alibaba, Warner Bros, Qualcomm, Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers, Andreessen Horowitz and many others according to Crunchbase data.

The company disclosed a new $502 million Series D round in October 2017. Axel Springer’s investment could be part of this round. I’ve asked the company to clarify this investment a bit and they wouldn’t comment any further.



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