Reader Comments

Candy to relaunch augmented reality start-up Blippar after buyout

by Arlie Hildebrant (2020-08-05)

Property entrepreneur Nick Candy, pictured with wife Holly Valance, has acquired Blippar through his Candy Ventures firm

Property entrepreneur Nick Candy's venture capital firm has bought augmented reality start-up out of administration.

Candy Ventures said it has acquired the intellectual property assets and various brands, as well as the tradename Blippar.

This will be ‘deployed into a new business' with ‘a number of former key Blippar team members', with a plan to offer software that easily allows people to create augmented reality, which mixes digital and real life.

Candy was a major investor in Blippar, which was forced into administration last month after a shareholder dispute.

Former boss Ambarish Mitra, who co-founded the firm in 2011, will be CEO of the new company and the deal also includes the acquisition of another Blippar-owned augmented reality service Layar.

Candy is married to pop star Holly Valance and made his name with high profile developments in the London property market, including One Hyde Park.

In recent years he has branched out into backing technology start-ups and other businesses.

RELATED ARTICLES Share this article Share

A spokesperson for Candy Ventures said: ‘The augmented reality market is growing exponentially and Blippar was an early innovator and leader in this space.

‘Rish and the team built a great business which had to adapt to the challenges of a constantly-evolving industry.

With the right application of its powerful AR technology, there is huge potential for the new company to drive innovation in AR and position itself at the forefront of the industry.'

Augmented reality involves blending digital elements into real-life scenarios and Blippar has worked on this with brands including Disney, Nestle, Kellogg's, Pepsi, Madam Tussauds and Cadburys.

Those using augmented reality can experience digital life mixed with reality, which could help guide them through airports and other places

A 2016 series D funding round valued Blippar at more than $500million, while reports last year claimed it had become a ‘unicorn' an unlisted start-up with a valuation of more than $1billion.

However, as with many tech start-ups, monetising Blippar has proved tough and the company needed to keep money flowing in. Blippar went into administration in December 2018 in an alleged row between a Malaysian sovereign wealth fund and fellow investors over funding.

As the Candy buyout was revealed, Mitra claimed Blippar has ‘a huge opportunity to create the best platform to allow our customers to seamlessly build and publish successful AR experiences in the same way that WordPress allowed anyone to easily create and publish a website'.

Augmented reality could be used to bring TV-style information to those watching live football matches

Hotels could also use augmented reality to help guests find out what is going on, says Blippar

Joint administrator, Paul Appleton, managing partner of David Rubin & Partners, said: ‘In conjunction with my agents, we conducted a thorough and extended sales process over a period of five weeks, which generated an immense amount of global interest and resulted in numerous parties submitting bids.

‘Ultimately, Candy Ventures was the successful party and the deal has now completed.

I am confident the acquisition will lead to a return to the creditors and the employment of a number of Blippar's former staff.'

TOP DIY INVESTING PLATFORMS Low cost portfolios Low cost portfolios Cheap funds fee Deal online from £1.50 Investment ideas Free fund dealing Free fund dealing Annual 0.45 per cent account charge Free investing No fees £9.99 flat fee One free trade per month Flat fees Great service Fixed monthly cost Dealing from £7.50 Model portfolios Model portfolios £45 per year No fund dealing charges > Compare the best investing platform for you