Blippar, the ad platform that delivers AR content through real-world tags, has today announced the acquisition of Binocular.
Binocular is an Austin, TX-based company that creates augmented reality applications for brands, with a specialty in the virtual try-on. The company created the Glasses.com app for Luxotica, which manufactures 75 percent of the world’s sunglasses, letting users try on glasses using a smartphone app with very realistic rendering.
The app won the Cannes Lions Bronze award in 2014 for best use of technology.
You can check on their try-on expertise in the video below for a jewelry try-on app:
Though the terms of the deal weren’t disclosed, Blippar CEO and founder Rish Mitra said that Binocular was profitable at the time of purchase, with relationships valued in the tens of millions for each of the commercial brands with which it worked.
Blippar works with brands to deliver extra AR advertising content through the Blippar app. Users who have Blippar on their phone can point at the Blippar real-world tag (Blipp), whether it’s in print media or on the label of the product, and reveal extra information about that campaign, product or initiative.
The company raised a $45 million round of funding in March after having surpassed the 50 million user mark.
With the acquisition of Binocular, which will maintain operations in its office in Austin, Blippar now has the ability to deliver more content in the virtual try-on space, leveraging not only the relationships formed between Binocular and fashion brands, but also the impressive technology Binocular built.
Blippar has been on the hunt for acquisitions, building out an M&A team, as “the consolidation of the AR industry gets underway,” explains Mitra.
Blippar bought Layar, another AR company, in 2014 and continues that shopping spree with Binocular, but Mitra assures us that this is just the beginning of Blippar’s acquisition strategy.
Meanwhile, Apple acquired Metaio in May of this year, and recently PTC bought Vuforia from Qualcomm for $65 million.