Alibaba, Warner Bros. Invest in Augmented Reality Startup Magic Leap

Magic Leap  - H 2016
Courtesy of Magic Leap

The secretive startup is $794 million richer.

Augmented reality startup Magic Leap has raised nearly $794 million from an investor group led by Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba.  

The stealthy Florida-based company has also added Warner Bros. and a host of financial institutions to its investor roster, which already includes Google, Qualcomm and Legendary Entertainment. The latest round, which values the company at $4.5 billion, brings the company's total funding to nearly $1.4 billion in just two years. 

Magic Leap has quietly been building its AR technology since 2010 but made a splash in 2014 when Google led a $542 million investment into the firm. Last year, the company hired former Vevo CEO Rio Caraeff to oversee content using its technology, which CEO Rony Abovitz has described as "part Matrix, part Harry Potter." 

The company has teased some images of its technology — called Mixed Reality Lightfield — which would allow viewers to experience the real world and computer-generated experiences all at the same time. 

"Here at Magic Leap we are creating a new world where digital and physical realities seamlessly blend together to enable amazing new experiences. This investment will accelerate bringing our new Mixed Reality Lightfield experience to everyone,” Abovitz said. “We are excited to welcome Alibaba as a strategic partner to help introduce Magic Leap’s breakthrough products to the over 400 million people on Alibaba's platforms."