back to article Review: Magic Leap and Fantasy Funding Fiasco

Performance art company Magic Leap has astonished and wowed critics with its latest outing: a $500m funding round. Having built a tremendous amount of buzz by teasing the tech world with a gloriously satirical video in which the company's founder Rony Abovitz used global soft focus and "inspiring voiceover" to talk about the …

  1. MiguelC Silver badge

    Magic leap

    Your money... gone... Magic!

    1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

      Re: Magic leap

      Here's a short video of a similar business building dreams out of thin air, MiguelC ....... Man It Feels Good To Be A Banker .... South Park

    2. Baldrickk Silver badge

      Re: Magic leap

      Gambol: Give me one reason why I should back you.

      The Joker: How about a magic trick?

      The Joker: I'm gonna make this money disappear.

      The Joker: Ta-daa! It's... it's gone.

  2. Mage Silver badge

    I'm baffled.

    Why are people funding this?

    There are LOADS of more likely things.

    This is like someone selling cold fusion or a perpetual motion machine.

    1. Random Handle

      Re: I'm baffled.

      >Why are people funding this?

      Bizarre - for the money they could have those guys in Yakutia to drop the mammoth resurrection programme and breed actual miniature hand elephants.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Exciting times ahead but I'll wait for the magic leap two. Give them time to iron out the problems of not having a actual product.

    In the next round of funding I expect them to accept cows in exchange for magic beans that grow shares. I can't wait.

    Also, out of curiosity does the AR software development involve an emperor and an overlay of clothes because that would be pretty cool?

  4. Bob Vistakin
  5. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    WTF?

    Wow. Such epic BS.

    And remember supposedly competent investors have p**sed away > $1Bn (probably not theirs of course) on this bu***hit.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Wow. Such epic BS.

      And remember supposedly competent investors....

      Competent in what way? Early stage investors usually don't give a stuff if the business they are backing is not going to ever fly, all they need is to get it as far as either a secondary exit, or an IPO. The "greater mug" business model is only a variant on the dubious side of horse trading, and that's been going on since the dawn of time.

  6. 0laf Silver badge
    Childcatcher

    Wow

    Wow, wonder if it is possible to get a list of the investors. I have some magic beans I think they would be very interested in.

  7. pravvy
    Thumb Up

    Magic Leap Rocks & STOP HATING

    How and from whom the money was raised was more spectacular than the $500M headline itself (which is also a big deal of course). The fact that both Alibaba and Google participated rather than sitting out ( or worse, used this D round to sell for their own internal VC fund liquidity event ) shows supreme faith in the company, tech and management.

    But the biggest story is that they didn't succumb to grabbing the low hanging fruit of taking a large strategic investor onboard such as AT&T which could have easily pushed this round to $700M or more -- but would have severely hampered future growth prospects of the underlying business since rival telecoms would have refused to partner in the upcoming 5G age when augmented reality will really take off.

    The AR industry is structurally setup at this point where heads Magic Leap wins, tails it breaks even. AR glasses will replace or severely dent the smartphone market at some point while Google, Apple and Microsoft have all ceded 95% market share to Magic Leap in the 2018-2019 timeframe by abandoning the market.

    Hololens is quickly becoming the next Kinect/Microsoft Phone abandonware boondoggle with Nadella not taking his own advice from his book, Hit Refresh, by pretty much throwing the Hololens developer community under the bus ($3K is a lot of money for indies to have forked out and then canceling the Hololens 2018 version) in favor of its most recent shiny object of Windows Mixed Reality -- seriously I can't even type the words DELL MIXED REALITY without falling asleep--no buzz or excitement at all vs Hololens. Even just today Microsoft announced that Hololens will not be part of the Windows 10 Fall Creators update while Mixed Reality will--pretty shabby stance on top of canceling Hololens 2018; they are going out of their way to signal to developers to abandon all Hololens efforts in favor of the next shiny object which is the most obvious dead end imaginable. Any Indie dev shop is only going to port over Oculus or Vive already in existence rather than waste resources on fresh code for an unreliable Microsoft partner.

    Tim Cook has made an epic mistake which will go down in Apple lore as possibly his jumping the shark/ hiring John Scully moment in saying the earliest an Apple Glass Dev kit (not even a 1.0 product) will be available is next decade. With that tepid endorsement of the concept it's likely Apple Glass will be next decade's Apple TV at best, Apple Car at worst. The lack of vision and imagination is mind boggling. Steve Jobs saw the future MAC when visiting Xerox Parc. Cook visited Magic Leap and only could imagine another Google Glass. With 1000 full-time internal developers already currently working on ARKit, Apple could dominate AR Glasses or at least be smart like Facebook and do a buyout and take out a potential competitor. But instead they are IBM giving rise to Microsoft, Yahoo to Google, Oracle to Salesforce--the requisite step for any disruptive force is to treated with disdain by the incumbents so they don't see the threat until it's too late.

    Google has finally learned its lessons from blowing $12B on the Motorola acquisition and the ridiculous Google Glass, that they are investing in a competent team building the next big thing rather than making it themselves. Despite having world class technical talent they aren't an organization setup to dominate AR Glasses--kudos to them for realizing that and investing in Magic Leap.

    Facebook is going through its own Motorola moment with Oculus. Taking a leading company in the field and finding out that they can't integrate it. Oh well, can't win them all--at least it's only $2B down the drain; plus they were able to learn what not to do in the future (Whatsapp was $19B by comparison).

    By 2020, Magic Leap Four should be out, competing with the Apple Dev Kit and whatever new shiny object boondoggle the Microsoft R&D PHd's crank out. With the two year head start in 2018-2019, Magic Leap Four could be the real tipping point to become the defacto IBM PC of the next decade, dominating mindshare if not perhaps marketshare. That will be enough for a healthy IPO in 2021 and a $150B plus market cap by 2025.

    Regarding your out of bounds negative commentary on Torch 3D, I just signed up for their Beta and look forward to integrating their APIs into a demo app.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Magic Leap Rocks & STOP HATING

      @pravvy.

      I would point out to you where you contradict your self in your post but I can't be arsed.

      I hope you are trying to be sarcastic (ad doing a lousy job of it), but if you aren't and you know so much about where other mega successful corps are going wrong, I have to wonder why you are not the boss of any of them.

      Then again,ypu could just be a shill for Torch.

      Just saying. Cheers… Ishy

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