Saudi Arabia acquires majority stake in Magic Leap


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Saudi Arabia increases its investment in Magic Leap. 450 million dollars flow into the company.

According to a report by The Telegraph, Saudi Arabia is investing $450 million in Magic Leap through its sovereign wealth fund PIF. The state has already invested $400 million in Magic Leap through its sovereign wealth fund in March 2018.

Saudi Arabia would own more than 50% of Magic Leap after the new investment. This should give the state control of the once hyped AR company. Saudi Arabia would be able to appoint four of the eight board members. Magic Leap has yet to comment on the investment.

The sovereign wealth fund’s investment in Magic Leap could be part of a broader Metaverse strategy unveiled by Dubai Municipality this summer.

Magic Leap has gone from a revolutionary smartphone killer to a B2B niche product

Magic Leap founder and tech visionary Rony Abovitz once wanted the company to become the Apple for AR headsets and replace the smartphone. It has won over investors like Google and Alibaba, who have poured billions into the company.

However, technical progress was not fast enough and Magic Leap encountered financial problems at the latest during the corona pandemic. Abovitz left the company with about half the staff, and former Microsoft executive Peggy Johnson took the helm.

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It reinforced the B2B orientation and launched the Magic Leap 2, which already existed as a prototype, in September 2022 for $3,300. Like Microsoft’s Hololens, the device is aimed at business and professional users.

Magic Leap 2 received high reviews and is said to be superior to its predecessor and Hololens in many areas. Johnson does not rule out a return to the B2C market, but no timeline is known.

Magic Leap founder continues to believe in his AR vision

Abovitz repeatedly stressed after leaving Magic Leap that only the third iteration of the AR headset was intended for the mass market. He continues to believe that the phase he dubbed “Apollo” is achievable. He envisions open construction AR headsets whose design is optimized for the intended use (sports, entertainment, navigation, etc.).

Other manufacturers like Meta, and possibly Apple and Alphabet, are also pursuing this goal, which is not yet technically feasible. They’re currently making the detour via VR headsets with built-in AR video streaming and likely will for the foreseeable future. An example of such a device is the Quest Pro recently released by Meta. HTC also wants to launch a new XR headset in 2023.


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