Magic Leap raises $500M on $2B valuation; Magic Leap 2 set to roll out in 2022

Magic Leap today announced that the Plantation-based company has raised $500 million in funding at a post-money valuation of roughly $2 billion. CEO Peggy Johnson also confirmed reports that the augmented reality company’s next generation product, Magic Leap 2, will roll out in 2022.

Johnson said the new capital from existing investors – the specific investors were not disclosed — will further Magic Leap’s focus on delivering best-in-class augmented reality solutions for the enterprise market. The funding will fuel go-to-market efforts for the roll-out of Magic Leap 2.

“This investment is an important step in advancing Magic Leap’s mission to transform the way we work,” she said  in a statement.

Peggy Johnson, CEO of Magic Leap

Magic Leap 2 will be the first product launched since Magic Leap One was released in 2018 largely for the consumer market. In February Johnson said the new headset would be 50% smaller and 20% lighter – but with double the field of view of the first generation. In today’s announcement, Johnson said Magic Leap 2 “will be the industry’s smallest and lightest device built for enterprise.” The headset features first-to-market breakthroughs like dimming – enabling the headset to be used in brightly lit settings – and increased field of view that are designed to increase business adoption of AR. In short, the goal is for it to be so comfortable and immersive, that it’s “a device you can put on your head in the morning and wear all day long” Johnson said in her blog post.

“Since joining Magic Leap in 2020, my focus has been on accelerating the company’s shift to the enterprise market, strengthening our technological foundation, and building a robust business across sectors ranging from healthcare and manufacturing to defense and the public sector,” Johnson said. “With ongoing support from our existing investors, Magic Leap will have greater financial flexibility and the resources needed to continue our growth trajectory as we expand on our industry-leading AR technology.”

In a blog post, Johnson discussed several use cases for Magic Leap 2, including by Miami-based Heru, where opthalmologists used Magic Leap tech to develop an AI solution for eye exams, replacing a large, expensive diagnostic machine with an affordable diagnostic tool. In other use cases, Ericsson used the technology to improve work floor processes in the factory, while Farmers Insurance used Magic Leap for remote training. Magic Leap has also been expanding its patent portfolio.

Johnson, a former executive at Microsoft and Qualcomm, took over the reins of the company in July 2020, two months  after founder and CEO Rony Abovitz stepped down from the top post, although he stayed on as a board member through August of 2021. “I will be rooting for Peggy and the Magic Leap team to have great success,” he said at the time. With a big vision to change the way we use computing, Abovitz, also the co-founder of Mako Surgical, founded Magic Leap more than a decade ago and was always steadfast about keeping the company in South Florida. He is now building Sun and Thunder, an interactive storytelling startup. .

At Microsoft, Johnson oversaw the development and growth of Microsoft’s relationships with external partners and enterprises globally.  She also led Microsoft’s corporate venture fund, M12, and was tasked with identifying strategic investment opportunities.

This is the first announced funding since 2020, when Magic Leap raised $350 million just before Abovitz stepped down. The company raised its first significant funding in 2014 and went on to bring in close to $3 billion in venture capital,  putting South Florida on the map for capital raising, and has now raised $3.5 billion. Magic Leap unveiled its first product, Magic Leap 1 Creator Edition, a headset, in 2017, but the company reportedly struggled amid underwhelming consumer sales, media reports said.

General availability for Magic Leap 2 is scheduled for next year – Johnson did not say which quarter –  with select customers in an early access program.

The big reveal: Magic Leap 2.

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Nancy Dahlberg