Chroma Ventures co-leads $5m investment in augmented reality specialist blippar
Chroma Ventures
March 23, 2021

Chroma Ventures co-leads $5m investment in augmented reality specialist blippar

Chroma Ventures, the investment arm of Paddy Burns’ and Chris van der Kuyl’s video games development company 4J Studios, has co-led a $5 million pre-Series A funding round for Blippar, a leading augmented reality (AR) technology company.

Chroma Ventures has invested in Blippar alongside West Coast Capital, the private equity arm of Scottish entrepreneur Sir Tom Hunter and family. The Canadian entrepreneur Anthony Lacavera also contributed to the round through his Globalive Capital investment firm.

Chroma Ventures, West Coast Capital, and Globalive Capital join existing shareholder Candy Ventures, the multi-stage investment firm founded by British entrepreneur Nick Candy. Chris van der Kuyl has also been appointed to Blippar’s board, along with Justin Cooke, an entrepreneur, adviser and investor in numerous fast-growing technology businesses.

Blippar specialises in (AR) content creation and publishing to any smartphone and the web. This new investment reinforces the London-based studio’s position as the global leader in AR and will be used to further develop the company’s industry-leading technology and accelerate its growth in key markets, including the US, Europe and Asia.

The company’s AR creation and publishing platform, Blippbuilder, enables everyone from teachers to creative technologists globally to create and publish their own AR experiences easily and efficiently. Blippar’s augmented reality studio, ‘Studio B’, incorporates a team of strategic advisors and designers that can push the technology to its limits and create a bespoke AR campaign to meet individual performance indicators.

Since launching in the UK in 2011, Blippar’s technology has been used by world-leading brands such as PepsiCo, Porsche, Pearson, Burberry, Cadbury, L’Oréal, GSK, Rugby World Cup and Procter & Gamble to create exciting and award-winning experiences which deepen awareness and consumer engagement.

Chroma Ventures principal, Chris van der Kuyl, said:

The immersive nature of AR makes it one of the most important use cases for the gaming industry and Blippar is a true pioneer in this space. Its AR technology is by far the most advanced and innovative I’ve seen in years and there is huge potential for AR to power the ultimate gaming experience of the future. Combining that with exceptional leadership and a great team puts Blippar right at the forefront of AR just as it emerges as one of the key drivers of the next wave of the technology revolution. We look forward to being part of the Blippar journey.”

Faisal Galaria, CEO of Blippar, said: “We are very excited to have attracted investors of this calibre to Blippar. Not only is this a solid vote of confidence in Blippar’s technology from some of the most highly regarded industry veterans and business minds, but it also demonstrates sustained validation of the UK tech sector post-Brexit.

“2020 was a transformative year for Blippar with a 200% increase in revenue quarter on quarter, continued strengthening of the senior leadership team, and delivery of cutting-edge AR campaigns for major global brands including OnePlus, Kellogg’s and Dr Pepper. We have leveraged our 10 years of investment, provenance, and technology leadership in the AR space to come back leaner, more focussed and better than ever before.”

Paddy Burns and Chris van der Kuyl – co-founders of games developer 4J Studios, best known for developing Minecraft for Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo games consoles – established Chroma Ventures as a means of consolidating an investment portfolio focused principally on data-led businesses and those developing and deploying innovative technology. Chroma Ventures will channel flexible capital into a range of early-stage and established businesses with high-growth potential.

Burns and van der Kuyl have been active supporters – both financially and practically – of a broad range of companies for several years, often in collaboration with other investors. Their portfolio includes around 10 direct investments that have grown into significant stakes in well-established businesses, such as global leader in cross-platform TV ad measurement TVSquared, cupboard stored ready meal provider Parsley Box, commercial insurance distribution and data platform Broker Insights, and indie game studio Puny Astronaut.

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