Blog Post

Layar Raises $14 Million: Augmented Reality, Augmented Again

More fuel getting thrown on the augmented reality flame: mobile augmented reality platform Layar, based in Holland, has raised a Series B round of €10 million ($14 million), from VCs led by Intel (NSDQ: INTC) Capital, and including existing investors Sunstone Capital and Prime Ventures. The funding comes on the heels of another big VC deal in the space, mobile A/R developer Mobilizy – maker of the popular Wikitude app – raising what was thought to be between €1 million ($1.4 million /£880k) and €5 million ($6.98 million /£4.41 million) last month.

There are other – and increasingly more – startups in A/R applications for mobile, as the networks and devices improve, and a critical mass of people use those devices for more services.

Layar (of course) claims that it is the biggest of them all, with more than one million active users, and thousands of developers that have created some 1,500 layers for its platform. These range from information-based services – such as real estate prices that come up when a person points his handset’s camera on a property – to apps that are a little lighter, like the game Woomba Mania (pictured).

Layar has so far come only partly good on its expansion strategy. It may have reached its 2009 goal to have “thousands” of apps on its platform. But an app for Symbian phones, which appeared imminent last year, is still “in development” according to the company’s site, possibly because Nokia (NYSE: NOK) is interested in creating its own A/R application, as this report suggests. Today, Layar is available for the iPhone 3GS, and Bada- and Android-based devices.

Layar says it will use this newest round of funding for “further development of the product and platform to drive meaningful content and usage of augmented reality. Specifically, the team will be focusing on working with developers and brands to make it easier to discover Layar content as well as further investing in the capabilities of the platform.”

Layar also raised a round of $1 million in October 2009.