AR and VR technology is currently receiving a great deal of exposure in the media, boosted by the release of new products from startups and tech giants alike, including Apple, Meta, Sony, and Lumus AR. Sadly, the initial 2023 growth predictions fell short, ending the year with an estimated 8.3% decline in product shipments. However, according to IDC, 2024 is shaping up much better, shipments of AR/VR headsets are expected to grow 46.4%, thanks in part to the publicity brought about by the most recent big-name releases.
Xreal, a Chinese consumer augmented reality (AR) glasses manufacturer, has successfully raised $60 million to further its mission of advancing AR technology for consumers and elevate its valuation beyond the $1 billion mark. Although Xreal has not disclosed the participants in this latest funding round, previous financial supporters include Alibaba, Nio Capital, Sequoia, Kuaishou, and Gentle Monster. The funds will fuel research and development efforts, as well as the expansion of manufacturing facilities to meet the growing demand for Xreal’s globally acclaimed AR glasses. The latest funding adds to the $300 million the company has raised to date.
Recent Showcase at CES 2024
Xreal recently showcased its Xreal Air 2 Ultra AR glasses at CES 2024 in Las Vegas. The event marked the unveiling of Xreal’s latest technological innovations and partnerships, including collaborations with BMW and Qualcomm.
Strategic Funding Round
The undisclosed investor-backed funding round signifies a strategic move for Xreal. The funds will be channelled into enhancing the proprietary optical engine, a critical component of Xreal’s AR glasses. Additionally, the investment will support the expansion of manufacturing capabilities to cater to the rising demand.
Xreal’s Market Presence
Established in 2017, Xreal has enjoyed notable success, recently reporting shipping an industry-leading 350,000 AR glasses. The company describes its latest glasses as the “future of affordable, full-featured spatial computing.” The Xreal Air 2 Ultra, aimed specifically at AR developers, is available for pre-order at $699, with shipments scheduled to begin by the end of 15th April 2024.
According to IDC’s November AR/VR Tracker, Xreal has captured 51% of the market share. The company has experienced a remarkable year-over-year growth rate of 320% in revenue during the first nine months of 2023. With the AR/VR industry growth forecast to hit $16.2 billion by 2027, the latest cash infusion puts Xreal in a strong position to capitalise on this growing market.
Chi Xu, CEO of Xreal, emphasised the significance of the latest strategic fundraising round, reinforcing the company’s position in the global AR market. He expressed enthusiasm for leading the industry and collaborating with partners through product launches, including the Xreal Air 2 Ultra.
“This latest strategic fundraising round reinforces our position in the global AR market, it skyrockets our expansion goals, and it demonstrates strong commitment from our trusted fundraising partners,” said Chi Xu in a statement. “As the first unicorn in AR glasses, we see where the AR industry is heading and are honoured to continue leading and teaming with the industry’s finest today, through the launch of Xreal Air 2 Ultra in the spring, and beyond. Developer, partner, and retailer conversations are underway now to make Xreal Air 2 Ultra’s first year the biggest in AR history.”