The Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) market has recorded more than $2 billion in total investment so far this year. According to a new report from global tech market advisory firm ABI Research, more than $1.3 billion for AR and VR company funding and more than $500 million spending for M&A deals has taken place across enterprise and consumer markets, as well as across hardware, software and services.
“COVID-19 and the rise of the remote economy generated new needs and trends for consumers and businesses, driving funding and M&A deals in areas such as AR/VR (remote) healthcare, entertainment at home and virtual collaboration tools,” Eleftheria Kouri, Research Analyst at ABI Research, explained. “At the same time, despite the economic uncertainty, the number of company and project failures was significantly less than previous years, indicating that the market continues to mature, and the technology sector was not dramatically affected from COVID-19 crisis. Also, the major driver factor behind M&A deals and funding is market footprint expansion and solution improvement to better meet higher demand and stand out of the competition, instead of company rescue investments.”
In the AR market, hardware proved to be an important and appealing investment point in 2020, especially consumer hardware as that market continues to ramp up. MAD Gaze, Nreal, Mira, Magic Leap and North (acquired by Google), are among a selection of AR/MR smart glass manufacturers that received significant funding in 2020. In the VR market, media and entertainment and gaming studios such as Thirdverse and Survios saw success, as did VR healthcare players OssoVR and Oxford VR, specialized in training.
Software was not forgotten though, with some notable series funding occurring in the year. While not technically funding or M&A, Unity’s $1.3 billion IPO showcased the importance of a capable content creation platform. Enterprise platform provider Librestream, AR software provider Augmedics, collaboration platform Spatial and AR marketing creation platform Poplar all saw funding rounds over $1 million in 2020. Apple was active in software and platform acquisition as well, with VR collaboration platform Spaces and VR content house NextVR.
These findings are from ABI Research’s Augmented and Virtual Reality: Investments, Acquisitions, and Market Trends for 2020 report. This report is part of the company’s Augmented and Virtual Reality research service, which includes research, data and ABI Insights.
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