Wayray Raises $18M in Series B Financing Round Led by Alibaba
WayRay has entered into a partnership with Banma Technologies to develop a new AR car navigation and infotainment system.
WayRay has closed its Series B financing round which had come from existing investors as well Alibaba Group.
Over the past 4 years, WayRay has used US$10 million of its own funds as well as Angel and Series A venture capital, to create a patented technology for transparent holographic displays. This technology is the basis for Navion — WayRay’s first AR navigation system.
Banma Technologies is an independent startup invested by Alibaba Group and China’s largest automaker SAIC Motor, dedicated to making developments in internet-connected cars. WayRay will work closely with this consortium to create an advanced AR HMI that integrates augmented reality navigation, driving assistant notifications, a virtual dashboard, and much more. The new system will be built into one of Banma’s 2018 car models, turning it into the world’s first vehicle in production with a holographic AR head-up display (HUD).
“At the moment, WayRay is the world’s only developer that integrates augmented reality systems into cars. It gives us an advantage over traditional HUDs and provides the opportunity to collaborate with the largest global car brands. In 2017, we aim to release a consumer version of Navion, our AR navigation system, and to sign contracts with major global car manufacturers to implement our ground-breaking infotainment system,” said Vitaly Ponomarev, founder and CEO of WayRay.
“Augmented reality HUDs are the future of car navigation systems. Rather than distracting the driver, AR navigation actually improves safety as the warnings and traffic data are placed right on the windshield. Moreover, with the rise of self-driving cars and enhanced auto control mechanisms, AR systems will enhance entertainment and communication within the car. We believe that WayRay’s AR systems will bring us one step closer to advanced connected cars,” Alex Shi, CEO of Banma, commented on the deal.
Ethan Xie, Senior Investment Director of Alibaba Group, commented: “We believe there is huge potential in the development of leading-edge technology like augmented reality and its application to various industries, like WayRay’s AR navigation system in the auto sector. The potential of augmented reality makes it an exciting and promising area”.
WayRay is a Swiss-based innovator working with augmented reality technology to develop holographic navigation systems and advance the connected car. The WayRay story goes back as early as 2012, and just in four years of development, the company has emerged as a premier developer in connected cars by applying aerospace technology to land navigation.
The people behind WayRay are an international team of more than 100 top-ranked engineers, scientists, designers as well as professionals in finance, law, and marketing. Many of them are pioneers in their spheres. Every day, the WayRay team works on the most innovative approaches to enhance the driving experience and move one step closer to smart cities.
WayRay is headquartered in Switzerland with offices in Moscow, San Francisco, and China.
Source Wayray’s press release