Facebook Portal rival Aura plugs in $26M for its AI-powered Wi-Fi enabled photo frame

Aura
Image credits: Aura

Aura, a US-based manufacturer of Wi-Fi-connected picture frames competing with Facebook Portal, has raised $26M in growth capital led by LAGO Innovation Fund. The company will use the funds to support developing the brand’s connected frames and private family photo-sharing app.

“There is no shortage of ways to share photos. The problem is that once shared, they remain on our devices, in group texts and social feeds,” said Abdur Chowdhury, Co-Founder, and CEO of Aura. “We created Aura to put those memories on display, both in the app and on premium frames in homes worldwide. We’re actively building new products and services to make it increasingly easy and elegant for our customers to share, collect, and display memories with their loved ones using Aura.”

Aura frame

Wifi-enabled digital frame

Founded by Abdur Chowdhury and Eric Jensen in 2016, Aura has revolutionised the digital frame by making it social. The company’s intelligent photo frames create a space to remember past moments & share unlimited pictures with loved ones. 

The company’s line-up of WiFi-connected frames is designed in-house with individually calibrated displays tuned for photos, optimising colour, brightness, and viewing angle. 

Frames come with AI-powered smart features to simplify photo viewing, including auto-cropping, slideshow curation, and sensors that automatically adjust brightness and turn the frame off at night. The company often releases app and frame features and recently introduced an iOS photo widget, AI-powered photo colouriser, and in-app photo scanner to frame old, printed photos or kids’ art.

It also allows the ability to share photos instantly to the frame from an app. Aura Frames connects people around the world through a photo-sharing experience. The company’s mission is to create a new social media network.

Since its inception, Aura’s business has consistently doubled year-over-year, largely due to recurring hardware revenue, claims the company.

After hitting one million app users in December 2021, Aura has doubled its user base in just nine months and is expected to hit three million in early January 2023, says the company in the press release. 

“LAGO was attracted to the vision Aura has for a decentralised, ad-free social network purpose-built for celebrating life’s cherished moments with loved ones in its purest form. Backed by strong technology, a phenomenal user experience, and a world-class management team, Aura has quickly positioned itself as the leader in private network photo sharing. LAGO is excited to provide Aura with debt and equity capital to support its growth objectives,” says Tim Gottfried, co-founder and Managing Partner of LAGO Innovation Fund. 

Aura frames are available on its official website and Amazon and through partner retailers in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, France, and Germany. 

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