After confirming it invested an undisclosed amount into Uber, Khazanah has – in its bid to profit from current tech trends – reinforced its efforts to financially empower even more popular technology platforms. The latest to receive this hefty cash boost is Blippar Inc., an augmented reality (AR) player.
This move, which sees a US$54 million investment injection into the AR developer, will see the renowned Malaysian strategic investment fund move into the immersive content space and, while unlikely, become a major player in this creative industry sub-sector.
Khazanah’s contribution is a considerably larger sum when compared to what UK-based Blippar raised last year – a grand total of US$45 million – from Qualcomm Ventures and a select group of undisclosed investors. The amount is expected to be used in expansion efforts in the education segment and to boost headcount for its engineering team.
“Given the rapid increase in penetration of smartphones in India, and the optimistic approach of brands towards AR, India is an important market for Blippar. Thusly, this new funding round will help to strengthen our operations in India, particularly for the initiatives we plan to undertake within the education sector. As is, we are working with over 65,000 schools and educational publishers around the world and we are seeing tremendous impact in clearly scientific measured terms,” said Ambarish Mitra, CEO of Blippar.
Even before the investments from Qualcomm and Khazanah shone the spotlight onto Blippar, it is already making headlines and major market movements as it claimed to have worked with around 2,500 brands and 80,000 publishers. Right now, it is in the midst of planning to increase the take-up of its recently launched app that allows users to take pictures of objects on their smartphones and pull up information on that item. This includes price, nutrition details, and where one can purchase it.
This, as per Blippar’s marketing jargon, is called ‘blipping’.
More will be revealed once Khazanah’s funding efforts has been finalised and Blippar puts into action its plans and strategies for the coming year.