Somnium Space Invests in Parisian XR Hardware Startup Lynx
Paris-based mixed reality startup Lynx has raised $4 million in a Series A funding round led by the decentralized social VR platform Somnium Space. Lynx wants to use the new funding to become the leading mixed reality player in Europe.
The latest funding round was led by Somnium Space but early Lynx funders also participated in the funding round. Also involved were a number of investors in the AR and VR space including some former Google and Meta engineers.
Lynx produces high-end virtual reality headsets which pack many features in a seasoned VR hardware buyer’s wishlist such as a wider field of view, hand tracking, top-notch quality 6DoF tracking, spatial audio as well as a color passthrough for AR and VR applications. The Lynx headsets are powered by Qualcomm’s XR2 chipset.
With the latest funding round, Lynx’s total funding now amounts to $6.8 million based on Crunchbase data. Lynx has tapped into various funding sources including a late 2021 Kickstarter campaign where it raised $800,000. In early 2019, the company raised $2 million in a seed round.
Following the latest funding round, Somnium Space founder and CEO Artur Sychov now joins Lynx’s board of directors.
The company’s Lynx R-1 runs on Qualcomm’s XR2 chipset and features high-quality cameras as well as VR displays for a passthrough AR functionality. It also offers you standard VR functionality, making this a mixed reality headset. The Lynx R-1does not use the standard Fresnel lenses and instead leverages novel optics known as “four-fold catadioptric freeform prism” which has slimmed down the Lynx R-1 headset size beyond what is currently possible with the Fresnel lenses.
Lynx was founded in 2019. Its R-1 headset costs $600 and will compete with the likes of Meta’s Project Cambria headset and Apple’s upcoming headset which is reportedly codenamed N301.
Lynx founder and CEO Stan Larroque says he wants to build the “European Champion of Mixed Reality” with the support of a vibrant community of users and developers looking for an alternative to the product offerings from closed ecosystems of Big Tech. Larroque wants Lynx to be a lynchpin of the European metaverse ecosystem, providing an underlying platform that is free of the big tech players with “damaging business models.”
After it finalized the Lynx R-1 design, the mixed reality company finished its office expansion in Paris which now occupies over 200 square meters of R&D. The company also opened a new office in Taiwan.
The first 12 months have been quite busy for Lynx with the company realizing several milestones such as: –
- The company finalized the design of its first standalone Mixed Reality headset, Lynx R-1. The R-1 competes with the flagship XR products of the leading US and Chinese tech companies.
- In November 2021, Lynx successfully concluded its much-anticipated Kickstarter campaign netting roughly $800,000 from just over 1200 backers.
- The company completed an expansion of its Paris office which now occupies 200 square meters of R&D. The company also opened a new office in Taiwan.
- The company also built key partnerships with suppliers and distributors across the globe for its upcoming Lynx R-1 launch and deliveries.