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Google Leads $542 Million Investment in Magic Leap

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Google is leading a group of companies investing $542 million into Magic Leap, a startup company developing virtual and augmented reality tech very much like Oculus Rift, the International Business Times reports.

Magic Leap Inc. announced Tuesday it has received financing from Google, along with several other companies such as Qualcomm, Legendary Entertainment, Vulcan Capital, Obvious Ventures, and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. The completion of the company's Series B financing round puts Magic Leap close to $2 billion already.

According to a recent press release, Magic Leap will be using the financing "to accelerate product development, release software development tools, expand its content ecosystem, and commercialize its proprietary mobile wearable system."

Sundar Pichai, Senior VP of Android, Chrome and Apps at Google, will be joining Magic Leap's board of directors. Dr. Paul E. Jacobs, Executive Chairman of Qualcomm Incorporated and Don Harrison, Vice-President, Corporate Development at Google Inc. will also be on the board as "observers".

"We are excited and honored to have such an extraordinary group of investors to help us bring our vision and products to the world," said Rony Abovitz, president, CEO and founder, Magic Leap, Inc.  "Magic Leap is going beyond the current perception of mobile computing, augmented reality, and virtual reality. We are transcending all three, and will revolutionize the way people communicate, purchase, learn, share and play."

David Gelles and Michael de la Merced of the NY Times, however, say that the company's current valuation "is based on little more than an ambitious vision and some nascent code," mentioning that Magic Leap doesn't have any current revenue and no products on the market.

"Details about Magic Leap's plans remain sketchy. So far, however, augmented reality and virtual reality have remained more the stuff of science fiction than of the everyday Internet. And even if Magic Leap or Oculus does create a compelling new computing platform, the next challenge will be convincing media and tech companies to create lots of content to keep users entertained," they added.

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