Magic Leap's business strategy for bringing augmented reality to the mainstream has become even clearer via its latest funding round.
On Friday, the company announced that it has secured $280 million in funding from NTT Docomo, the largest wireless provider in Japan.
"Docomo is proud to offer new value-added services never experienced before to our customers and partners through our partnership with Magic Leap," said NTT Docomo president and chief executive officer Kazuhiro Yoshizawa, in a statement. "Docomo aims to co-create advanced MR services and expand the XR market by leveraging open innovation and combining innovative technologies such as Spatial Computing provided by Magic Leap with Docomo's assets including our 5G network and 70 million membership base."
Although Magic Leap has begun to make its headsets available in AT&T stores and on AT&T's online store, its strategy is more forward-looking as a showcase for the 5G wireless speeds of the near future. Beyond the massive cash infusion, the company's latest move partially mirrors its AT&T partnership, as Magic Leap will also leverage NTT Docomo's relationships major firms in Japan to generate content and apps for its devices.
"The partnership between Magic Leap and Docomo combines the power of spatial computing with Japan's premier mobile operator to deliver radical innovation to co-presence, communications, commerce, productivity, sports, media, and entertainment," said Rony Abovitz, Magic Leap's founder and CEO. "As Docomo's advances the power of its network and technology for tens of millions of customers, its partnership with Magic Leap will help deliver capabilities and experiences never thought possible."
If there's one thing (other than augmented reality) that Magic Leap does really well, it is raising funding. Having already pulled together $2.3 billion in funding over its relatively short lifespan, Magic Leap told The New York Times that it also plans to reopen its Series D funding round after recently pulling in $461 million from the now-controversial Saudia Arabia PIF fund.
And while Magic Leap is already well-funded, it will need this major funding arsenal if it plans to take on 900-pound gorilla Microsoft and its new HoloLens 2, as well as the rumored AR wearable from Apple.