InMotion Ventures has participated in a $50m Series C for Envisics, a UK-based startup making holographic technology available to consumers through augmented reality (AR) HUD. The round was led by Hyundai Mobis, with investments from other strategic investors, including GM Ventures and Stellantis.
Sam Nasrolahi, Principal at InMotion Ventures, explores why we invested.
Enhanced vehicle connectivity is paving the way for the development of technologies with the potential to transform the driving experience. One area seeing significant interest from OEMs is augmented reality (AR), specifically in its use in heads up displays (HUDs). Augmented reality HUDs project virtual images into the driver’s field of view. Initial use cases have focused predominantly on projected navigation directions, though many players have product roadmaps for more personalised services.
Integrating AR into passenger vehicles is a relatively novel concept, yet the OEM AR HUD market was measured to be worth $1.6 billion in 2021, and is forecasted to reach $18.2B by 2030 (1). Vehicle safety – and consumer propensity to pay for it – is largely responsible for this boost in demand. Growing expectations around in-vehicle experiences also have a part to play, especially in the fiercely competitive luxury segment.
What Envisics does:
Founded in 2010 by Jamieson Christmas, a renowned expert in his field, Envisics is the global leader in holographic display technology. Envisics powered AR HUDs offer customers greater magnification, superior image quality and the ability to view images at multiple distances simultaneously. By seamlessly layering essential information on the windscreen within the driver’s field of view, the need for drivers to take their eyes off the road is eliminated: improving safety and enhancing the ability to make more informed decisions.
The spatial requirements of AR HUDs have presented a major challenge for manufacturers who are under increasing pressure to incorporate endless new technologies and features into vehicles. AR HUDs typically also need high customisation across vehicle lines, which can be expensive. Envisics is addressing both restrictions with a package that is market leading in its functionality to size ratio, with a highly scalable platform.
By significantly reducing these problems, Envisics offers OEMs the opportunity to create the kind of unique brand experiences that drivers are increasingly demanding.
Why we invested:
InMotion Ventures backs exceptional startups with the potential to accelerate Jaguar Land Rover’s vision of modern luxury. We believe AR technologies will become a staple of world-class vehicles in the next five years, and Milton-Keynes based Envisics is the only company to have created and delivered dynamic holographic technology at scale. The strong leadership of Dr. Jamieson inspires confidence in the company’s ability to scale and innovate, and there is broad market excitement for their upcoming Generation 3 technology.
In the AR-HUD market, regulation, defensibility and partnerships are critical to long term success. Envisics’ automotive qualification has led to an impressive number of alliances with Tier 1s and OEMs, with Jaguar Land Rover being the first to realise the potential of Envisics’ holographic technology for OEM HUD applications.
Thomas Müller, Director, Product Engineering at Jaguar Land Rover, commented of the investment:
“Partnering with leaders in their fields is at the heart of our Reimagine strategy. InMotion Venture’s investment in Envisics is exciting news. It strengthens our partnership as we develop next generation augmented reality technologies for future Head Up Displays in Jaguar Land Rover’s modern luxury cars. Together, we can create a world leading user interface for our customers”
With this Series C round Jamieson and his team have an exceptional consortium of strategic investors, including: InMotion Ventures, GM Ventures, Hyundai Mobis and Stellantis Ventures, as well as long standing backer Tarsadia Investments. The new funds will be used to accelerate the pace of product development and co-creation, and we look forward to supporting them in this exciting next phase of growth.
We’re always interested in speaking with exceptional founders setting new benchmarks in quality, technology and sustainability. If you are a founder, or know a company in the space, please do get in touch with the InMotion Ventures team, either via LinkedIn or through our investment form.