AR Firm Blippar Secures Barclays Finance

Augmented Reality (AR) technology could soon be appearing in more locations than ever before following a major funding round for one of the leading app developers in the field.

Blippar has received a £1.5 million finance facility from Barclays to help further its development and roll-out of mobile AR and image-recognition technology.

This could mean more companies now using the Blippar mobile app to allow consumers to unlock interactive content simply by scanning a brand logo or the Blipp symbol.

Growth

“Blippar’s growth has been quite remarkable,” said Juliet Rogan, relationship director, Barclays’ technology, media and telecoms team. “To become an industry leader in such a short space of time is testament to the founders’ ability to identify a world-changing idea and execute a business strategy, which quickly captured the attention of major brands like Coca-Cola and Samsung.

“Barclays recent Fast Growth Tech survey showed that 19 percent of UK tech businesses saw managing cash flow as the biggest financial challenge they faced in 2015. Therefore, we believe it is important for major lenders to help the sector overcome these concerns and support companies like Blippar realise its exciting and ambitious growth plans.”

Headquartered in London, Blippar was founded in 2011 and has grown dramatically in three years; opening offices in Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, Chicago, Mumbai, Deli, Istanbul, Amsterdam and Tokyo, it now has 200 employees and 50 million users of its app worldwide.

The company has already signed up global brands such as Coca- Cola, Pizza Hut, Maybelline, Pepsi and Heinz but is looking to expand with the additional funds provided by Barclays.

“As we work with big brands, development and payment cycles can be long, so we have to function like a much bigger business,” said Blippar co-founder and CEO Ambarish Mitra. “In reality, we are still a relatively small company and have all the same pain-points as an SME. Knowing the financial support is there to manage money going in and out of the business gives us increased confidence in working with global industry-leading organisations.”

Research last year found that AR technology will soon be widespread in many offices and businesses, as organisations look to bridge the gap between the digital and physical worlds.

Gartner expects to see ‘moderate’ adoption of AR technology over the next five years as the hardware supporting the technology, such as affordable head-mounted displays, along with integrated smartphone and tablet support, becomes more widespread and available.

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Mike Moore

Michael Moore joined TechWeek Europe in January 2014 as a trainee before graduating to Reporter later that year. He covers a wide range of topics, including but not limited to mobile devices, wearable tech, the Internet of Things, and financial technology.

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