8i, a Wellington, New Zealand, and Los Angeles, CA-based company that develops holographic technology for virtual and augmented reality, raised US$27m in Series B funding.
The new round, which brought total funding to $41m, was led by Time Warner Investments, with participation from Baidu Ventures, Hearst Ventures, Verizon Ventures, One Ventures, Carsten Maschmeyer’s Seed & Speed Ventures, and existing investors. Time Warner Investments Managing Director Scott Levine joins 8i’s board.
Led by CEO Steve Raymond, 8i is to introduce Holo, a consumer mobile app that gives people a way to create mixed reality content with holograms of their favorite celebrities, brands, and characters. The app lets users add holograms to their real-world environments and take videos and photos they can share with friends across their social channels and messaging apps.
Holo provides an innovative way for influencers across entertainment, music, and sports to reach and engage their audiences, and drive a new form of user generated content around their brand.
The company is testing an early beta version of Holo on the Lenovo Phab 2 Pro powered by Tango, an augmented reality technology from Google. As part of the beta, 8i is testing how users interact with the new technology and a limited selection of sample 3D holograms. The company plans to officially launch a new version of the app with content partners and programming later this year on Tango-enabled smartphones, and other mobile devices.