US tech giant Qualcomm has acquired Augmented Pixels, a Ukrainian-founded AR/VR software developer now headquartered in California. The news was reported by the Ukrainian media based on exchanges with Augmented Pixels representatives, reports East-West Digital News (EWDN).
“The technologies and expertise [developed by] Augmented Pixels could help increase Qualcomm’s [capacities in the fields of] Extended Reality (XR), Mixed Reality, Virtual Reality, and Augmented Reality,” writes industry blog AIN.UA, noting that Augmented Pixels’ founder Vitaly Goncharuk “will remain at Qualcomm in the XR team after the deal.”
Founded in 2013 in Odesa, southern Ukraine, Augmented Pixels has developed a proprietary simultaneous localisation and 3D mapping technology. This approach has applications in augmented reality navigation and 3D mapping for mobile phones, drones and robots.
“A unique full technology stack allows the company to lead in the robotics and AR/VR markets. With the help of the CorpMap.AI product, Augmented Pixels will disrupt the current market of mapping solutions and offer unique solutions that will significantly reduce the cost of operations in logistics, facility management and other markets,” said Goncharuk in previous statements.
The company’s earliest investor was AVentures Capital, a leading Ukrainian VC firm: “At that time, there were just three engineers and we helped set up [a] legal entity,” recalled the firm’s co-founder Yevgen Sysoyev in an exchange with Ukraine Digital News.
Two years later, after receiving a $1mn seed investment from The Hive, Augmented Pixels relocated from Ukraine to Palo Alto, California, leaving the R&D team in Ukraine.
In February last year, the company announced the completion of a $2mn funding round involving ICU Ventures and VentureBot. In total, Augmented Pixels has raised more than $6mn since its inception, according to CrunchBase data.
The acquisition value was not disclosed, but last year Forbes Ukraine estimated Augmented Pixels at $20-40mn, reports The Kyiv Independent. Meanwhile, AIN.UA’s unnamed sources put the deal at anywhere between $20mn and $50mn.
This article first appeared in East-West Digital News (EWDN), a bne IntelliNews partner publication.