8i Wins $27 Million for Mixed Reality App

8i, a company that is developing ‘holographic’ technology for VR & AR has won a $27 million Series B round of investment to release a new app called Holo. The round was led by Time Warner Investments, with participation from Baidu Ventures, Hearst Ventures, Verizon Ventures, One Ventures, Carsten Maschmeyer’s Seed & Speed Ventures, and existing investors. This is the first investment in VR/AR for Baidu, Inc. through its recently formed fund, Baidu Ventures.

Holo is a consumer mobile app that is intended to give people an easy way to create mixed reality content with ‘holograms’ of their favourite celebrities, brands, and characters. Holo lets users add ‘holograms; to their real-world environments and take videos and photos they can share with friends across their social channels and messaging apps.

8i is testing an early beta version of Holo on the Lenovo Phab 2 Pro powered by Tango, an augmented reality technology from Google. As part of the beta, 8i is testing how users interact with the new technology and a limited selection of sample 3D holograms. The company plans to officially launch a new version of the app with content partners and programming later this year on Tango-enabled smartphones, and other mobile devices.

There’s a video at

Analyst Comment

My friend, Alfred Poor, recently posted on social media that whenever he sees the word holographic being used, he assumes that the writer doesn’t know what a hologram is. That’s not a bad rule of thumb at the moment! (BR)