The intellectual property of Blippar, the UK-based overhyped AR startup that once boasted a valuation of $1.5 billion but went into administration last month, has been acquired by one of its investors, Candy Ventures. The firm will also hire “a number of former key Blippar team members” to launch a new business soon, it stated in a press release.
The co-founder and CEO of Blippar, Ambarish Mitra will lead the new company, which will also trade under the name Blippar.
The announcement coincides with the reports about Mitra registering a new company, Augmented Reality Labs. Speaking with Tech.eu, a spokesperson for Candy Ventures clarified that “Augmented Reality Labs is a vehicle created by Ambarish Mitra for independent consulting purposes and has nothing to do with Blippar or the new company,” adding that “it is also changing its name to RM Consulting Limited.”
The new incarnation of Blippar will focus on “developing a SaaS Augmented Reality creation and publishing platform (Blippbuilder) which makes it easy for everybody to create AR whether they have technical skills or not,” Candy Ventures said in its announcement.
Blippar was founded in 2011 and employed some 300 employees at its peak times. Started as a B2C company that sold an app that recognised landmarks and household items, it eventually pivoted to the B2B segment to sell its technology to enterprise customers. In 2017, Blippar reported a loss of £35 million. In December 2018, the company went into administration due to one of its investors, Malaysian sovereign wealth fund Khazanah Nasional, blocked an emergency funding round of $5 million.
“It was a devastating disappointment when Blippar was forced into administration at the end of last year, but today’s news is a hugely positive outcome,” Mitra said. “We continue to believe in the future of augmented reality and see a huge opportunity to create the best platform to allow our customers to seamlessly build and publish successful AR experiences in the same way that WordPress allowed anyone to easily create and publish a website.”