Snap yesterday announced the latest product of its Spectacles augmented reality glasses. Today the company revealed that it is acquiring the startup that supplies the technology that powers them up. The Snapchat parent is taking up WaveOptics. It is an AR startup that develops waveguides and projectors used in AR glasses. These glasses overlay virtual images above the views of the real world. Someone wearing glasses can see those virtual images.
Snap works closely with WaveOptics to build Spectacles:
Snap has been working with WaveOptics to build its latest version of Spectacles. A Snap spokesperson confirmed the details. It is paying over $500 million for the startup in a cash-and-stock deal. The first half will come in the form of stock when the deal is finally closed. The remaining amount will be payable in cash or stock within two year’s time.
This is a huge leap for WaveOptics. It has raised about $65 million in funding from various investors. These investors include Bosch, Octopus Ventures, and individuals from Stan Boland and Ambarish Mitra. Which book estimates that the most recent valuation was around $105 million.
The startup was found in Oxford and it is going to be based in the UK. It is unclear whether WaveOptics continues to work with other clients post the deal. But it is obvious that the startup’s technology will be exclusive to Snap. This deal marks Snap’s biggest acquisition to date in terms of valuation.