AR Startup Tilt Five Secures $7.5 Million Series A Investment
Tilt Five is better known for its eponymous AR headset for tabletop gaming and the startup announced this week that it has raised $7.5 million in Series A funding.
This round of funding was led by GIS Global Partners. Also participating in the funding round were Galaxy Interactive, BITKRAFT Ventures as well as the gaming industry veteran Ken Birdwell who previously worked on the Half-Life series at Valve. SIP Global Partners’ Jeffrey Smith is set to join Tilt Five’s board of directors.
Tilt Five has stated that it is planning to use the Series A funding to recruit additional staff, develop partnerships and expand on its available content.
Tilt Five was founded in 2017 by Jeri Ellsworth and began by launching a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter last year to raise $450,000 to bring its Augmented Reality headset to life. Within 24 hours of the Kickstarter campaign’s launch, it was fully funded and went on to raise more than $1.7 million over the month-long campaign. If you add the current pre-orders for the Tilt Five AR headset, the startup’s total funds now amount to close to $10 million.
Tilt Five is using the same projection-based technology that was in Ellsworth’s first Augmented Reality headset system, CastAR, that raised $15 million in venture funding before it closed down in 2017. Just like the CastAR, Tilt Five also includes AR glasses, a 6DoF wand controller as well as a special retroreflective game board and all of this has been built to work with the multiplayer interactions locally and in online play.
The Tilt Five tech does not use the same kind of wave-guide optics found in the conventional Augmented Reality headsets. As a result, provides certain benefits over the conventional designs. The headset can project the image through two head-mounted micro projectors and it also tracks the wand controller through inside-out sensors.
This makes it possible for Tilt Five to reportedly achieve 110-degree field of view which is by far larger than those of the Magic Leap 1, HoloLens 2 and the Nreal Light headset. Because the Tilt Five AR headset leverages a tablet, PC or smartphones to power the experience, it weighs just 85 grams. However, the headset is still limited to the small playspace of the special gameboard but based on Tilt Five’s early crowdfunding success, it is evident that there is a lot of interest out there from tabletop gamers who are looking for this kind of immersive experience.
According to Tilt Five CEO Jeri Ellsworth, the startup was founded on the idea of bringing family and friends together in order to play in a real world that has been enhanced by leveraging the magical capabilities of immersive 3D technology. Tilt Five hopes to use this latest round of investment to expand its ability to deliver on its proven sets of technologies to create an affordable, social and wearable device.
The startup stated that it will ramp up production and plans to begin shipping the kits to its Kickstarter backers as well as pre-order customers in the next two quarters. The base model of the Tilt Five is already available for pre-order. Referred to as the Tilt Five XE, it features a pair of AR glasses, a gameboard along with a single wand, all of which cost $359. The larger format kits will include three Augmented Reality glasses as well as three wands and a gameboard and are set to arrive next year.