AR Startup Hello TeamSolar Raises $0.5 Million from Google in Seed Funding
Google has just acquired a 5% stake (at $10 million valuation) in the augmented reality startup Hello TeamSolar. The partnership will see the two tech companies develop AR technology which will be focused on building tailored location-based experiences. The $0.5 million investment was part of the partnership deal.
The money raised will mainly go into building a platform for branded custom augmented reality experiences that will be played on bigger-scale settings across various kinds of devices in real-time. The team will also collaborate with Google in developing applications that will support augmented reality location-based services. Hello TeamSolar is currently engrossed in building a platform that will deliver content through various devices by leveraging the Google Cloud Anchors.
The startup Hello TeamSolar was founded by Archie Prakash who is currently based at the Interactive Games & Media department at the University of Southern California in collaboration with Nick Fortugno who is the CEO of Playmatics and the creator of Diner Dash and Linda Franke, formerly a lecturer at the Berlin Arts University.
Google will now own approximately 5% of the augmented reality startup, which has a total post-valuation of $10 million.
The Hello TeamSolar advisers include Maria Essig of Google and Samuel Roberts of the USC Cinematic Arts.
The investment and collaboration is a major step as far as Google’s augmented reality ambitions are concerned. In a market that is already dominated by big players such as Magic Leap, Microsoft and Apple that have built versatile AR platforms and hardware, Google is quite the latecomer here but the tech giant hopes that through partnerships such as this, it can quickly spin off innovations and roll out key service platforms for the major AR players.
Google may be behind in this market but it is dipping its hands in the honeypot. The partnership is also building the foundation for augmented reality advertising by creating a platform for location-based, branded large-scale augmented reality experiences apps that will be playable across multiple devices in real-time. The 5% investment at a post-valuation of $10 million also indicates that Google is currently taking a more cautious approach to the AR business opportunities. The investment and innovations from the collaborations will likely grow in scale as the augmented reality uptake increases in the coming years.