Our alumnus and University of Bristol spin-out, Ultraleap, the world leader in interface technologies – hand tracking and mid-air haptics – today announced it has completed a £60 million ($82 million) Series D round of investment. The raise will enable Ultraleap to further develop and commercialise its revolutionary technologies for existing and next generation computing platforms.
Significant new investors including Tencent, British Patient Capital through its Future Fund: Breakthrough programme and CMB International, are joined by existing shareholders Mayfair Equity Partners and IP Group plc, who further cemented their confidence in Ultraleap by investing in the round.
Commenting on the fundraise, Tom Carter, Ultraleap CEO, said: “The metaverse concept is not new to Ultraleap. It has always been our mission to remove boundaries between physical and digital worlds. The pandemic has accelerated the rise of the term as more people now understand the power of enhancing the physical world with digital elements.
“For Ultraleap, this new era is not constrained to VR headsets. Like the internet, it is a reality we will interact with in all parts of life: at home, in the office, in cars, or out in public. Our aim with this Series D raise is to accelerate the transition to the primary interface – your hands – because there are no physical controllers, buttons or touchscreens in anyone’s vision of the metaverse.”
Hand tracking will be to XR, what touchscreens were to the smartphone
Ultraleap’s recent announcement of their fifth-generation hand tracking platform, known as Gemini, means for the first time, their world leading hand tracking software is now available across multiple platforms, camera systems and third-party hardware. Qualcomm’s Snapdragon XR2 chipset and Varjo’s VR-3 and XR-3 headsets have already shipped with Gemini built in.
With this investment round, Ultraleap will continue to bring Gemini to different operating systems and increase their investment in tooling to enable developers to build more applications using the best interface – your hands. Ultraleap will also continue to invest in R&D to drive their machine-learning-based hand tracking even further ahead.
Pandemic driving touchless tech
The pandemic has given the world a new understanding of how pathogens can transfer and catalysed the demand for touchless self-service solutions. Companies like PepsiCo and Lego are already utilising Ultraleap’s technology to remove the barrier of COVID-19 and empower people to return to public settings with confidence. This Series D round will allow Ultraleap to continue to deliver world-class OOH products to its customers at pace, like the company’s award winning TouchFree application.
UX is the new horsepower
As the Automotive industry evolves, manufacturers are looking to differentiate on the in-cabin experience even more, as seen with DS Automobiles and Hosiden. The Series D round will enable Ultraleap to iterate faster on their automotive haptic platform and invest in R&D to drive forward the world’s only commercially available mid-air haptics solution.
Tom Carter added: “This raise doesn’t just give us greater resources to scale, but our investors provide us insights and access to our targets markets as well. The timing aligns with the demand we are seeing from our customers across key verticals.
“I’m so proud of what the team has achieved to date to get us closer to our primary interface mission, and I am even more excited for where our mission will take us next.”