Magic Leap first got our attention back in 2014 when Google made a big investment in the mysterious augmented reality startup. The technology sounded like pure science fiction at the time, but a few years later it’s looking a lot more realistic. Now the company’s announced another big round of funding and a partnership with Chinese tech and retail giant Alibaba.
Magic Leap raised $793.5 million in its C round of funding, the company revealed on Tuesday. The deal also includes a new partnership with Alibaba, which is placing one of its executives on the startup’s board. That should give Magic Leap a nice path into China once it actually releases its first product.
According to CEO Rony Abovitz, the new funding will help Magic Leap speed up production while also allowing it to plan ahead for the future. “We are really accelerating everything,” Abovitz told Wired, though he wouldn’t offer any specific launch plans.
Once Magic Leap does release a product it could compete directly with Microsoft’s HoloLens, which offers its own take on augmented reality. Microsoft was late with its initial announcement, but already has working hardware ready to ship to software developers. At this point Magic Leap is losing the race but, based on all the hype around this company, we’re expecting something really amazing once it finally pulls back the curtain.