AR Glasses Maker ODG Raises $58 Million Led by 21st Century Fox

Todd Spangler
Variety

Osterhout Design Group, which expects to launch new augmented-reality smartglasses for the consumer market in January, announced that it has closed $58 million in Series A funding led by principal investor 21st Century Fox.

Others contributing to ODG’s financing round include China’s Shenzhen O-film Tech Co. Ltd., Vanfund Urban Investment & Development Co. Ltd. and individual investors. 21st Century Fox had previously announced that a deal to acquire a minority stake in ODG.

The San Francisco-based company said will use the funds to accelerate its existing production capabilities, slating a launch for new products at the 2017 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in January.

Osterhout Design Group was founded in 1999 as a technology incubator and now has about 80 employees. The privately held company has heretofore developed products for the U.S. military and enterprise customers in various markets, and is now looking to expand into the consumer segment.

“We carefully picked investment partners who not only share ODG’s product vision and growth strategy, but also have the reputation and reach to expand ODG’s global presence and market recognition,” ODG CEO Ralph Osterhout said in a statement.

The company’s competitors in the AR space include Microsoft’s HoloLens; Meta, whose backers include Comcast and China’s Tencent; and Magic Leap, which has raised nearly $1.4 billion from investors including Warner Bros., Google, Alibaba Group and Legendary Entertainment.

ODG’s existing R-7 Smartglasses — designed for industrial use — cost a cool $2,750 a pair. The devices feature ultra-transparent HD 3D stereoscopic displays and on-board GPS navigation. The company says it has been shipping smartglasses to specialized customers since 2011.

Moelis & Company LLC acted as financial adviser to ODG in connection with the funding.

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