Holoride Closes $12 Million in Series A Funding
Audi spinoff Holoride has raised $12 million in Series A investing round that gave the company a $36 million valuation.
Holoride is currently building an immersive XR in-vehicle media platform.
The latest funding round was led by the Swedish ADAS software development firm Terranet with a $3.9 million investment. This was accompanied by an investment from a group of Chinese financial and automotive technology investors that was organized by Jingjing Xu, an investment professional and by Schell Games, an educational and entertainment game development company that has collaborated with Holoride in the past in content creation.
Holoride will put the fresh infusion of investments into searching for new developers as well as other talents as the XR startup looks to extend its wings into the global markets in Europe, Asia, and the US. The new investment has also come ahead of its summer 2022 launch for private passenger cars.
In a statement to TechCrunch, Holoride founder and CEO Nils Wollny said that the above efforts will coincide with the startup’s greater emphasis on its content creator community from this summer. Holoride will be releasing plenty of new tools to help the content creator community create content for cars on its platform.
Holoride was launched during CES 2019. Its platform is quite innovative and even managed to solve the problem of motion sickness felt by passengers in a moving car and wearing a virtual reality headset. It does this by matching the experience that users feel inside their virtual reality headsets to the movement of the vehicle. After its launch, the Holoride app will be available for download by users on phones or on other personal devices such as virtual reality headsets that will connect to the car wirelessly and help to extend their reality.
According to Wollny, Holoride technology has two sides. The first one is the localization or positioning software which taps into two data points from the car and does a real-time synchronization. The other aspect of its technology is its Elastic Software Development Kit. Content developers will be able to create elastic content that can adapt to the user’s travel time and routes. Wollny stated that Holoride’s collaboration with Terranet means that the Swedish software development firm’s sensors and software stack will make it possible to realize a more precise capture as well as interpretation of the environment at an even higher speed as well as with a greater accuracy that will allow Holoride to realize even greater possibilities in the future.
Holoride will leverage Terranet’s VoxelFlow software that was originally developed for ADAS applications to advance its real-time, in-vehicle XR entertainment. According to Terranet CEO Par-Olof Johannesson, VoxelFlow provides a new paradigm when it comes to computer vision and object identification in which a combination of sensors, event cameras as well as a laser scanner are integrated into the windshield and headlamps of the car to compute the distance, direction as well as the speed of an object.
The Holoride platform is manufacturer-agnostic and will leverage the data points that are calculated by VoxelFlow in real-time if the Holoride system is being used by a vehicle that is integrated with Terranet’s software.
Crucially, Holoride now has the ability to reuse 3D event data for XR applications, and making it accessible to creators allows them to build some of the most interactive experiences. Terranet also plans to open a new vertical for VoxelFlow.
Holoride wants to revolutionize the passenger experience by transforming the dead car time into interactive in-vehicle experiences that span education, gaming, mindfulness, productivity, and much more. Around Halloween time in 2019, Holoride partnered with Ford and Universal Pictures to give riders a frightening immersive experience into the world of Bride of Frankenstein complete with monsters that jump out as well as tasks that riders can perform.
Wollny stated that Holoride has its sights set on the next steps even if its current product is yet to hit the market. Holoride understands that autonomous vehicles are the future of the automotive industry and the startup is intent on building an important element of the future tech cars for the cars of the future where everyone will be a passenger. Wollny says that its technology focuses on the passenger experience in an industry where manufacturers often focus on the buyer or driver experience. Wollny says that Holoride wants to transform every car ride into something of a “moving theme park.”