Above: Three AR investors are holding a contest to identify augmented reality startups.
Image Credit: GFR Fund
Eight finalists have been named in the Global AR Online Pitch Event, a contest aimed at identifying stellar augmented reality startups. The winning contestant will likely receive an investment from a group of 30 venture capitalists and investors sponsoring the contest.
A total of 241 companies entered the contest. Game and media conglomerate Gree‘s investment project, dubbed the GFR Fund, organized the event with Super Ventures and the Venture Reality Fund. The online event takes place May 22.
Finalists will have five minutes to pitch, followed by two minutes of questions from a selected panel of investors. The finalists will also deliver live pitches at the Augmented World Expo event on May 31. Startups from around the globe are eligible to apply.
Startups must be in the pre-seed, seed, or series A investment stages and working on AR, with a minimum viable product.
The exact amount of the investment for the winner isn’t known yet, but each investor will contribute some. As far as the AR market goes, GFR Fund CEO and managing director Teppei Tsutsui said, “We see it as early. We are excited about this event and giving startups the opportunity to present to investors.”
With the launch of foundational AR technologies such as ARKit and ARCore, the investors believe that the dawn of AR is upon us.
The entrants came from every corner of the world, with solutions ranging from AR in health care to AR displays to an AR content management system. Here are the eight finalists:
- ARwall is an L.A.-based augmented reality company. It has created the first AR display that requires no headset, goggles, or smart device.
- Cortex Core, created by AR/VR media shop Binary Bubbles, is a codeless content management system that enables IP owners to maintain a strong and personal relationship with their consumers through always-on, world-aware digital AR characters.
- DeepAR is a powerful face-tracking, face FX, and deep learning SDK that allows any app to integrate advanced, Snapchat-like face lenses in hours. The most advanced AR Advertising SDK on the market, DeepAR currently powers over 50 million users each month through its integration with top ad networks.
- JigSpace creates and shares interactive, 3D knowledge for anything.
- Infiniverse connects the entire world’s digital space into a single, persistent, virtual AR world. The augmented reality land registry, content distribution platform, and marketplace runs on the blockchain.
- Insider Navigation is the first company that offers augmented-reality based indoor positioning and navigation for mobile devices without the use of special AR hardware.
- PLNAR is a 3D modeling platform, initially targeting the insurance industry.
- SentiAR is developing the first real-time AR software platform for interventional procedures on the HoloLens. Initially focused on catheter ablation procedures treating cardiac arrhythmia, the company aims to significantly change clinical practices.
“There is a huge advantage for companies to be able to pitch key investors without spending the time and money required to go on a roadshow,” said Tsutsui, in a statement. “The AR Online Pitch event puts every startup on a level playing field and lets the entrepreneurs, and their vision and innovation, speak for itself.”