A high-flying, heavily financed AR headset startup is closing down
Since Apple and Microsoft struggle to sell augmented existence as the next significant computing platform, several of the startups striving to defeat them are crashing and burning.
Daqri, which created enterprise-grade AR headsets, has shuttered its HQ.
They have laid off multiple of their employees and are auctioning off assets ahead of a shutdown.
The almost 10-year-old company informed its customers that it was seeking an asset sale.
They are also shutting down the cloud and smart-glasses hardware platforms by the end of this September.
Daqri’s closing is not only the latest among heavily financed augmented reality startups attempting to court enterprise customers.
The Challenges Faced
Previously this year, Osterhout Design Group dumped its AR glasses patents after acquisition discussions with Magic Leap, Facebook and others stalled.
Meta, an AR headset startup which raised $73 million from VCs including Tencent, also auctioned its assets after the company ran out of cash.
Daqri encountered substantial difficulties from opposing headset makers.
This included Magic Leap and Microsoft, who were supported by more substantial war chests and institutional organisations.
While the headset company strived to compete for enterprise customers, Daqri profited from investor excitement circling the larger space.
That was until the investment environment for AR startups lessened.
At one point, Daqri was talking with a big private-equity firm about funding ahead of a possible IPO.
Though as the technical facts facing other AR companies arose to light, the firm withdrew out and the deal crumbled.
The Company Attempts To Make Amends
At the beginning of 2016, Daqri obtained Two Trees Photonics.
It is a small UK startup that was making holographic display technologies for automotive consumers.
The UK division soon included a large portion of the entire company’s revenues.
By 2018, the division was turned out from Daqri as a separate company called Envisics.
This left the Daqri team to concentrate wholly on making augmented reality to enterprise customers.
The other head-worn AR division failed to obtain momentum after extended delays in the adoption of its AR smart glasses.
During this bad phase, the company’s management put on a brave face as the startup sputtered.
Daqri CEO Roy Ashok said in an interview that the startup was projecting shipments of tens of thousands of pairs of its AR glasses in 2020.
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