Hangzhou-based augmented reality glasses manufacturer, Rokid Inc., has successfully concluded a strategic investment round led by NetDragon Websoft Holdings Ltd., expanding its Series C funding round to $112 million. This investment, spearheaded by NetDragon, boosts Rokid's valuation to $1 billion, according to a report from Bloomberg. The funds will be utilized to drive international expansion, with Rokid's founder and CEO, Misa Zhu, expressing optimism that the new investment and partnership will reignite the company's growth trajectory despite pandemic-induced setbacks.
NetDragon, known for its focus on education and massively multiplayer games, aligns its expertise with "metaverse" technologies—highly immersive 3D spaces where users engage in various activities. This complements Rokid's specialization in augmented reality (AR), blending holographic computer-generated graphics with the real world to create mixed reality experiences for education and gaming.
Established in 2014, Rokid pioneers augmented reality glasses and the fully open-source artificial intelligence voice interactive operating system YodaOS. Its consumer product line includes the Rokid AR Joy glasses, offering a lightweight, flexible entertainment and work experience with a floating screen directly in front of the user's eyes. While not operating in true AR, these glasses provide a monitor-like experience. For industrial users, Rokid produces robust AR glasses for diverse applications, from AI-powered smart inspection to assisting remote collaborators in the field.
The strategic partnership between Rokid and NetDragon, spanning five years, aims to craft next-generation interactive metaverse experiences. This collaboration leverages Rokid's technology prowess and NetDragon's expertise in internet and mobile platforms. Dr. Simon Leung, NetDragon Group Vice Chairman, anticipates AR becoming a vital channel for metaverse interactions, especially in education and gaming. The partnership is poised to design products with enhanced user experiences, propelling the go-to-market efforts for AR-enabled product offerings.
Metaverse technologies, combining real-world and computer-generated elements, find applications in diverse fields, from training industrial workers to assisting field technicians with helpful guides overlaid in their vision. Remote collaboration is facilitated, enabling collaborators to share the same perspective as on-site technicians.
Misa Zhu looks forward to expanding opportunities by leveraging NetDragon's knowledge in education and gaming, as well as their global sales network. The collaboration between NetDragon and Rokid is anticipated to inject fresh momentum into product development, fostering breakthrough innovation within the industry.