Friday, September 25, 2020
Virtual RealityNews

Varjo Expands Roadmap With Funding Announcement

With $54M in Series C funding, Varjo announces partnerships and expansions.

 

This morning, Finnish XR headset manufacturer Varjo announced that they have cleared US$54 million in Series C funding. They also announced that former COO, Timo Toikkanen, is now serving as the company’s CEO.

“The news here is not the CEO change,” Toikkanen said in a video interview. “We’ve always thought about running Varjo as a team.”

Timo Toikkanen Varjo CEO
Timo Toikkanen

While Toikkanen didn’t have much to say about his new role with the company, he had plenty to say about their direction going forward, including new markets and partnerships, as well as hardware and software updates.

Meet the Investors

“We’re living in a very peculiar time,” said Toikkanen. “It was a very peculiar time to be in a funding round as well. We could not travel around and meet with any of the investors.” 

Meetings with investors were conducted over video calls rather than in person. However, the company still landed major contributions, including from deep tech-focused Nordic Ninja, innovative tech funders Atomico, and EQT Ventures.

The current round of funding puts the company at over $100M of funding raised so far. And, the team has some ambitious plans for its application.

A Strengthening Network

Investors coming on board don’t just throw money around. They also open doors to new partnerships that allow the company to increase its services and service area.

See Also:  Lenovo Updates XR Software and Hardware Package for a Memorable School Year

“We wanted, on this round, to expand our networks and our investor base in our key geographical markets,” said Toikkanen. “We’re quite keen to see a strengthening network and more friends in those regions.”

Specifically, those regions are Japan and Central Europe, as well as New Zealand, Australia, South Korea, Singapore, and Israel. While the company is headquartered in Helsinki, their two largest markets are the United States and Japan.

The level of technology offered by the company and the level of enterprise that leverages their solutions mean that they are only interested in geographical areas with established tech markets, specifically aerospace and automotive.

Headset for training and simulation Varjo

“What we have really seen over the last quarter is that enterprise XR seems to be the place to be,” said Toikkanen. “Companies have pivoted from other facets of this field towards enterprise in particular and Varjo is benefiting from the fact that we don’t have any pivoting to do, we have been in enterprise from the beginning.”

Partners and Updates

How enterprise uses XR is changing, however. According to a release shared with ARPost, Varjo has also partnered with VR meeting platform MeetinVR “to deliver photorealistic virtual collaboration,” and has also recently gained support from Autodesk VRED, a popular automotive design solution that includes remote collaboration tools.

Varjo has also launched chroma key and marker tracking technology, making it easier to anchor XR experiences to real-world locations. Toikkanen foretold more announcements regarding those technologies toward the end of the year.

“The news of today is the [funding] round itself and the fact that it enables Varjo to take the next steps and continue scaling,” said Toikkanen.

What’s Good for Varjo…

Having so successfully completed this round of funding is good news for Varjo. Their plans to use the funding and new connections to expand their services and availability is good news for the rest of us.

Jon Jaehnig
the authorJon Jaehnig
Jon Jaehnig is a freelance writer specializing in Technology and Health. Jon has a degree in Scientific and Technical Communication from Michigan Technological University and lives in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula with his wife and cat. If you have a story suggestion for Jon, you may contact him here.