Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings Corporation and Niantic, Inc. Invest in DigiLens for Holographic AR Displays
SUNNYVALE, CA — November 30, 2018: Today, DigiLens announced an investment from Niantic, Inc. and Diamond Edge Ventures, the strategic investment arm of Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings Corporation (“MCHC”) as part of its Series C funding round. The investment will continue to allow DigiLens to develop and innovate high quality, holographic waveguide displays for global automobile, enterprise, consumer, avionics and military brands.
“We are thrilled to have Niantic and MCHC join Continental AG and our other strategic investors,” said Chris Pickett, DigiLens’ CEO. “These investments will strengthen the ecosystem of support for DigiLens, its licensees and their customers for the manufacturing of large volumes of displays at consumer price points that cannot be matched by other technologies.”
DigiLens is the leader in holographic waveguide displays and provides key proprietary nanomaterials and core technologies for transparent, augmented reality (AR) displays for several global industries. The new relationship with MCHC will result in first-of-its-kind plastic material for waveguide displays that will be lighter, less expensive and nearly unbreakable, which is especially important for eye-glass thin smart glasses and displays for smart helmets.
Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings Corporation, a world leader in advanced materials, established Silicon Valley-based Diamond Edge Ventures (“DEV”) in July 2018 to engage with startup companies and the venture community worldwide. “We could not have found a better first investment than DigiLens, as it demonstrates how MCHC’s advanced technology can help create a new market through strategic partnership with a world technology leader,” said Patrick Suel, President of DEV. “Through this investment, we also become an active participant in an AR/VR technology ecosystem projected to have broad impact across B2B and B2C industries, and we will accelerate adoption of a new computing platform that will benefit users worldwide.”
Niantic, Inc. the leader in consumer AR gaming experiences with titles such as Pokémon GO, Ingress, and the forthcoming Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, is also joining this round. “Niantic has spent years transforming the world into a game board,” said John Hanke, CEO of Niantic, Inc. “DigiLens is on an amazing path, in collaboration with MCHC, to bring more affordable and accessible hardware experiences to players around the world, making it possible for characters and game play to be seamlessly woven into the real world, supported by compelling safe and lightweight plastic AR displays.”
DigiLens’ waveguide optics allow OEMs to access eyeglass-thin displays for wearable AR applications and larger displays for automobiles, avionics, retail and architecture. The company has developed a photopolymer material and holographic copy process to manufacture precision diffractive optics by printing rather than traditional expensive methods like precision etching. The resultant eyeglass display has higher efficiency and wider field of view, where its breakthrough copy manufacturing method delivers a cost performance unmatched by others. DigiLens has formed strategic partnerships with other HUD and AR market leaders including Panasonic, Sony, Rockwell Collins, Continental and Foxconn. More information about the company’s offerings can be found at www.digilens.com.
About Niantic, Inc.
Niantic, Inc., builds mobile real-world experiences that foster fun, exploration, discovery and social interaction. Originally incubated within Google, Niantic, Inc., spun out in 2015, with investments from Google, The Pokémon Company, and Nintendo. The company’s immersive real-world mobile games Pokémon GO, which has been downloaded globally more than 800 million times, and Ingress are available on the App Store and Google Play. Harry Potter: Wizards Unite is Niantic, Inc.’s third game and is being co-developed with Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment. For more information on Niantic, visit NianticLabs.com.
About Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings Corporation
Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings conducts its corporate activities and businesses world-wide in the domains of Performance Products, Industrial Materials, and Health Care based on the three decision-making criteria of “Sustainability”, “Health”, and “Comfort”. The company will create sustainable corporate value and be a trusted company to its stakeholders by contributing to the sustainable development of people, society, and the Earth. For more information on the company, visit www.mitsubishichem-hd.co.jp/english/
About Diamond Edge Ventures
Diamond Edge Ventures, Inc (“DEV”)., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings Corporation (“MCHC”), was established in July 2018 as the Corporate Venture Capital arm of the Group. DEV mission is to foster innovation across MCHC’s group companies by investing in and partnering with strategic startups. Led by experienced Silicon Valley Venture Capitalists and Entrepreneurs, DEV is building a strong ecosystem built on competence, trust and added value. For more information on DEV, visit www.diamondedgeventures.com.
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