Spatial, the cross-platform 3D collaboration platform got another jolt of adrenaline closing a 14 M series A. The round, which brings the total amount raised to date to $22M, was led by White Star Capital, iNovia and Kakao Ventures with continued participation from Silicon Valley notables including Instagram Co-founder Mike Krieger, and Zynga founder Mark Pincus.
Spatial’s system uses a proprietary AI algorithm to automatically create a fully dimensional, recognizable avatars for each participant from a simple 2D photo. Users can share web pages, media content, 3D objects, and write on whiteboards as if they were all present in the same room. Their first customers include Mattel, Purina/Nestle and BNP Paribas.
Spatial was founded by CEO and Co-Founder Anand Agarawala and Chief Product Officer (CPO) Jinha Lee who met at the TED conference in 2013. Lee was on his way back to Korea for mandatory national service, which engineers like him can apply to fulfill their obligation by working, in his case at Samsung. For his part, Agarawala worked with Google’s Android and Google Photos teams for four years. The two kept in touch, and in 2016 they started work on Spatial’s virtual collaboration system.
Spatial spent several years in stealth before emerging in the fall of 2018 with 8M in funding, and an easy to use solution for low latency cross-platform telepresence platform. Just a few months later, in February 2019, the company was on stage at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, demonstrating its solution for the world with Alex Kipman and the brand new HoloLens 2.
“Spatial’s mixed-reality solution will be a key part of the future of work,” said Instagram Co-Founder Mike Krieger in the company press release. “They’re taking us beyond everyday tools like Zoom and Slack and pointing the way towards what conferencing & collaboration can be like if they were invented today and I’m excited to support the journey.”
Remote work is far from the only compelling use case. Spatial also allows users to share media, so a family throughout the world, on different devices could play a game, or watch a big one. Or simply play with their grandchildren in unexpected new ways. Think of it as Facetime in 3D with a much, much better form factor, and cross-platform. Lee says that “We are moving from the era of personal computing to collective computing where people can share their space and ideas from anywhere, on any device.”
Existing Spatial investors include iNovia Capital, Expa (founded by Garrett Camp), Lerer Hippeau, Leaders Fund, Samsung NEXT, as well as angels; Mark Pincus, and Andy Hertzfeld (Co-Inventor of the Macintosh) are joined by new investors White Star Capital, Kakao Ventures, Baidu Ventures, and Mike Krieger.