Extended reality chip startup GravityXR has completed a pre-A+ worth millions of dollars, according to local media outlet LatePost. The round of financing was led by Goertek’s Tongge Fund and joined by ByteDance’s VR headset maker Pico and gaming companies HoYoverse and 37 Interactive Entertainment, among others. These companies are leaders of the XR industry chain, with Goertek the world’s largest manufacturer of XR glasses.
GravityXR has plans to expand its team, develop next generation XR chips, and carry out another round of financing. Combined with previous fundraising, the company has raised nearly RMB 1 billion ($1.45 billion) in total since its founding in September 2021.
Why it matters: Extended reality (XR) is a catch-all term for augmented, virtual, and mixed reality. The technology combines with or mirrors the physical world via a digital twin world, and enables interaction between them. Many consumer tech giants see XR devices as having the potential to become the next-generation of ubiquitous computing platforms, a role dominated by smartphones today.
- Devices equipped with XR have already started mass production in the games and entertainment industries. Last year, 8.8 million VR devices were sold worldwide, alongside 42 million game consoles. Some of the better-known firms are Oculus, acquired by Meta in 2014, and Pico, acquired by ByteDance in 2021.
Details: GravityXR develops metaverse interfaces, hardware chips, and related algorithms, offering new XR user experiences.
- GravityXR claims its first generation product will be in mass production by the end of 2024. The firm is currently developing a co-processing chip for XR devices, which can optimize the display, sensor, and other components of an XR device. The new chip will provide real-time image rendering, sensor data processing, and mixed-reality interaction functions, according to LatePost.
- GravityXR’s first XR co-processor chip will adopt 14nm or above advanced technology. Its core function is to help render and reduce the load of the main chip, as the GravityXR chip can coordinate with the customized XR device chips made by semiconductor giants Qualcomm and Mediatek. GravityXR’s self-developed algorithm reduces motion sickness during the XR experience and improves display quality, the company told LatePost.
- GravityXR has previously received investment from Gaorong Capital, Sequoia Capital, IDG Capital, GSR Ventures, Lenovo Capital, and Incubator Group. A core member of GravityXR’s founding team previously worked in Apple’s XR team for eight years, while other co-founders came from leading companies such as Huawei, Meta and Amazon, and specialize in chips, displays, optics, and algorithms. The company has about 200 employees.
- Goertek, a Chinese manufacturer and an Apple supplier of electronic components, launched its Tongge Fund in May 2022.
Context: The global extended reality market reached $35.14 billion in 2022 and is projected to hit around $345.9 billion by 2030, growing at a compound annual growth rate of 33.09% from 2022 to 2030.
- In the fourth quarter of 2022, the top three XR manufacturers globally were Meta (with 81% of the market), DPVR (7%), and Pico (7%), according to a report from market research firm Counterpoint.
- Apple originally planned to launch its VR headset in 2021, but delayed the move until this year. The California-headquartered tech giant plans to equip its forthcoming headset with games, fitness apps, and even a virtual reality reading function, according to a report by Bloomberg.