Alibaba leads Magic Leap’s new $793.5M funding round at $4.5 billion valuation

Magic Leap hasn’t released a consumer version of its augmented reality tech. It hasn’t released a developer unit. It hasn’t publicly even revealed what its product is exactly. But that hasn’t stopped it from raising a further $793.5 million, bringing its valuation to $4.5 billion, the company announced today.

Chinese tech giant Alibaba Group led the Series C funding round, but financial and entertainment companies joined the round as well, including Warner Bros., J.P. Morgan Investment Management and Morgan Stanley Investment Management. Those investor join Google and Qualcomm, who previously invested $542 million in 2014.

The funding is slightly lower than rumors hinted at last year, but still gives the company a boatload of cash to build its “Mixed Reality Lightfield” tech and bring it to the public.

“Here at Magic Leap we are creating a new world where digital and physical realities seamlessly blend together to enable amazing new experiences. This investment will accelerate bringing our new Mixed Reality Lightfield experience to everyone,” Magic Leap founder and CEO Rony Abovitz said. “We are excited to welcome Alibaba as a strategic partner to help introduce Magic Leap’s breakthrough products to the over 400 million people on Alibaba’s platforms.”

Alibaba isn’t just investing either. It’s co-vice chairman, Joe Tsai, is also joining the board, which already includes Google CEO Sundar Pichai.

While Magic Leap hasn’t given a public preview of its hardware, it has released a few demo videos and a few journalists have gotten a chance to test it. The company looks to compete with Microsoft’s HoloLens project, which combines virtual images with real-world objects.

However, Microsoft has already announced a timeframe for developer units (sometime this year), and has even let members of the public try it out. The HoloLens also runs on Windows 10, which may make it easier for developers to build new applications for the platform.

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