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Chinese AR Glasses Company Nreal Gets $700 Million Valuation Following Latest Funding Round

Nreal, the Chinese augmented reality (AR) glasses manufacturer has recently raised $100 million in funding with an aim towards international expansion. This has driven the company’s valuation up to $700 million.

Tech giants
The new funding round comes at a time when notable tech giants like Facebook and Apple are working on an array of augmented reality offerings. Nreal has been in the spotlight for its product Nreal Light, a pair of lightweight glasses that can be connected to smart devices.

The Chinese company’s $100 million funding round will contribute towards its expansion on an international level, and also towards the development of new offerings.

Augmented reality
Augmented reality is an immersive technology form that enables the imposing of virtual images over real world elements. A large number of technology companies around the world are making investments in AR.

According to sources, the new valuation of Nreal is $700 million with the latest round. Not much additional information could be availed from the source or Nreal regarding the company’s valuation.

Chi Xu, Nreal CEO, spoke to CNBC about the plans to use newly acquired capital on research and development. It also aims to reach new markets globally.

Speaking about expansion plans, Xu remarked that the company acknowledges the vastness of the Chinese market, but hinted at expansion into the US and several other countries.

The Nreal AR glasses have not been launched in China. However, Nreal Light is already retailing in several markets in the world including Japan, Spain and South Korea.

Nreal Light
Nreal Light is a lightweight pair of glasses that can be connected to a user’s smartphone. Donning the glasses helps users get full-fledged mixed reality experiences through various applications. Digital images are superimposed for the glass wearers over real world locations or objects.

Nreal is backed by a number of prominent investors such as Nio Capital, which is the investment division of vehicle manufacturer Nio. Another notable investor is Sequoia Capital China, a major venture company.

According to Xu, Nio Capital is being considered as a strategic investor, hinting that there are plans for Nreal to work with the company.

Xu elaborated further about the possibility of a partnership between the two companies. According to Xu, the combination of augmented reality and electric vehicles can produce interesting outcomes in future. He said that there is an expectation of the number of electric vehicles on the streets growing in coming years. Xu emphasised that as individuals start spending more hours in their vehicles, they will start relying on augmented reality technology to access new features and capabilities.

New product
Xu also revealed that Nreal is set to launch a new product in the near future, but did not give any details regarding the plans. He did reveal that the new Nreal glasses are set to have a new design that is lightweight and comfortable. The new glasses will also be priced lower than the currently available edition of Nreal Light.

Xu is optimistic about users liking the features of the new glasses, and hopes to grow the company’s presence in international markets.


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