RealWear, Inc., producer of the HMT-1 ruggedized head-mounted monocular tablet computer, announced today an $80 million Series B financing round, bringing the company’s total funding to over $100 million. RealWear will use the funds, which are a combination of equity and debt, to continue market expansion and accelerate its popular hands-free platform development. Teradyne, Inc. (TER), a global leader in industrial automation, took the lead. Other investors include Bose Ventures, Qualcomm Ventures LLC (QCOM), Kopin Corporation (KOPN) and JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM).
RealWear’s Series A lead, CVC, and many early seed investors have taken this opportunity to increase their investments in Vancouver, Washington- based RealWear, said Cofounder and CEO, Andy Lowery. “The continued support of our entire ecosystem is tremendously gratifying for the entire RealWear team.” This lines up with Teradyne’s purchase of a collaborative robots company, Universal Robots. For Kopin, the maker of the microdisplay, this is a strategic investment in a company executing on its shared vision of an assisted reality toolkit for the industrial worker. Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 625 microchips is used by RealWear.
RealWear debuted the HMT-1 head-mounted display (HMD) in September 2017. Since then it has shipped 15,000 units to 1,300 industrial enterprises around the world. RealWear now has 120 applications that its partner ecoystem has optimized for its device. According to the company, year over year growth is 500%. Of all companies who have already deployed head-mounted wearables, RealWear has already captured 40–50% of the market. Company representative Aaron Cohen told me this is coming from market growth, which he estimated to be 500–1000% (not a typo).
The kind of AR done with headsets like RealWear’s is often called “assisted reality,” to differentiate it from immersive AR experiences with see-through displays such as the Hololens. RealWear is focused on keeping a connected enterprise workforce heads up and hands-free, greatly increasing situational awareness and reducing fatigue. Companies using assisted reality devices cite greater worker satisfaction, increased efficiency, and greater accuracy. RealWear runs on Android so thousands of apps can immediately be loaded onto the HMT-1 to transform them into a hands-free voice experience.
RealWear finished 2017 with $2M in revenue and 2018 at $12M in revenue. The company anticipates sales in mid-8 figures this year. RealWear is sold through global channels such as Honeywell, Verizon, Barcotec and several others VARs. “We are increasing our focus on channels to support the demand for our products in far larger volumes,” said Cohen.
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