Chinese AR startup Rokid closes $112m Series C to scale AR glasses for metaverse

Chinese AR startup Rokid closes $112m Series C to scale AR glasses for metaverse

Rokid AR Experience. Photo from Rokid.

Rokid announced on Monday the completion of a strategic investment from China’s NetDragon Websoft Holdings Limited, closing its Series C funding round at $112 million.

Hong Kong-listed NetDragon invested in Rokid, a maker of augmented reality (AR) glasses and headsets, alongside the signing of a five-year agreement to jointly pursue metaverse opportunities globally.

Metaverse, which rose in popularity during the pandemic, refers to shared virtual worlds where land, buildings, avatars, and even names can be bought and sold, often using cryptocurrency. People can wander around with friends, visit buildings, buy goods and services, and attend events in these environments.

In a separate statement, NetDragon disclosed that it invested $20 million in Rokid as the lead investor in the startup’s latest equity financing round.

Rokid is looking to work with NetDragon and leverage the investor’s knowledge in education and gaming as well as its global sales network, said Misa Zhu, founder and CEO of Rokid, in a company statement.

Backed by investors like IDG Capital and Singapore state investor Temasek, Rokid offers full-stack AR solutions covering hardware, software, and operating systems for various industrial and consumer applications. Since the release of its first voice interaction product in 2016, Rokid has introduced a few industrial and consumer-oriented AR glasses as well as an open-source Al operating system named YodaOS.

The startup has delivered products to clients in over 80 countries and regions worldwide to date.

“We see AR becoming one of the key channels for users to interact in the metaverse, as the application of AR is appropriate for longer time usage compared to VR, and hence the number and variety of use cases are broadened significantly with AR, especially in education and gaming,” said Simon Leung, NetDragon’s Group Vice Chairman and Executive Director.

NetDragon specialises in building online games, mobile applications, and Internet education platforms as its key business lines.

The firm posted a revenue of 3.7 billion yuan ($514.8 million) in the first half of 2023, up 13% year-on-year. Its gross profit stood at 2.3 billion yuan ($320 million) during this period, marking a 2% decrease from last year, according to its 2023 interim financial results.

Edited by: Joymitra Rai

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