The previous week, Google boosted a new app to feature immersive photography in virtual reality with a multi-camera technique to capture it. Now, it seems like there may be strategies to enhance it with some bolted-on technology built by a third party.
It has been told by several sources that the company is acquiring the imaging startup, Lytro that started as a ground-breaking camera company for users before pivoting to make use of its depth-data, light-field technology in VR.
A source described the deal as “asset sale” with Lytro not going for more than 40 million dollars. Another source told that the cost was even as lower as 25 million dollars. As per a third source, not all employees are coming over with the technology of the company. Some of them have already received severance and separated from the company, and the others have simply left. Presumably, the assets would also include 59 patents of Lytro that are related to light-field and other technology of digital imaging.
The sale would prove to be a big win for Lytro and its backers. According to the data from PitchBook, the startup has risen over 200 million dollars in funding and was valued at about 360 million dollars after its last round in the year 2017. The long list of its investors includes- Foxconn, Andreessen Horowitz, GV, NEA, Greylock, Qualcomm Ventures and several more.
Also, the stage of the deal is not transparent. The emails to the many investors have not received any response. The several emails to Lytro and Google have also had no response.
A 40 million dollars price tag is quite not the exit that was envisioned for the company when it initially launched the concept of its camera and as said by the investor Ben Horowitz, it blew his brains to bits.