RealWear Raises $80 million for Augmented Reality Headset for Connected Workers

RealWear AR Headset
Image: RealWear

RealWear, a Vancouver, Washington-based AR startup that develops industrial helmet for workers, closed 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 platform development.

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RealWear teamed with JPMorgan Chase & Co. to architect an investment syndicate led by Teradyne, Inc. (TER), a global leader in industrial automation, and includes Bose Ventures, Qualcomm Ventures LLC (QCOM), Kopin Corporation (KOPN), and investors from JPMorgan’s (JPM) Private Bank.

From its inception, RealWear has focused on products that are specifically designed for the connected enterprise workforce to improve job satisfaction, productivity and, most importantly, safety. Its industrial hands-free wearable computers enhance, rather than diminish, a worker’s situational awareness while delivering vital information on-demand in the harshest of environments, reports RealWear.

RealWear’s technology is a combination of a small computer running on Android and a camera, speaker, microphones. A tiny screen projects information in front of the wearer’s eye.

The wearer can use the screen to call up information on the fly. Workers use the camera to send an image of what they’re seeing to colleagues elsewhere.

This rugged hardhat is actually a smart headset that functions similarly to the original Google Glass but uses the underlying technology quite differently.

Smart hardhat
RealWear’s HMT-1Z1 conveniently clips into your hardhat (Image: RealWear)

“The augmented reality enterprise market has experienced a great deal of hype, but long-term, real-world solutions have been thin on the ground, said Tom Mainelli, IDCGroup VP of Devices and AR/VR.

“RealWear smartly recognized the need for a no-nonsense head-mounted display and has delivered no-frills products that help frontline workers to get their jobs done more safely and efficiently.”

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RealWear Co-Founder and CEO, Andy Lowery, said RealWear used this same pragmatic philosophy in its fund-raising strategy. “Our seed investments came from friends, family, early customers, suppliers and business partners. Their faith carried us to our Series A, led by Columbia Ventures Corporation. CVC’s experience in heavy industry, one of our primary markets, made it a perfect match.”

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