Property tycoon Nick Candy's Candy Ventures has acquired the intellectual property assets of Blippar.Com Limited and its various brands, including the tradename Blippar, which will be deployed into a new business. The business will be headed up by ex-Blippar CEO Ambarish Mitra, and will employ a number of former key Blippar team members. The deal also includes the acquisition of Layar’s assets.
The new company’s product offerings will focus primarily on developing a SaaS Augmented Reality creation and publishing platform (Blippbuilder) which the company said makes it easy for everybody to create AR whether they have technical skills or not. The new company, which will trade under the name Blippar, will use its software development kit to unify and standardise AR formats (including iOS and Android) on the platform.
Blippar was forced into administration in December 2018 and it has now been revealed that this was after one of its existing shareholders, Khazanah Nasional Berhad (the embattled Malaysian Sovereign Wealth Fund), blocked further pre-agreed funding from entering the business.
The 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.”
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 [ex-Blippar CEO Ambarish Mitra] 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.”
Mitra said: “It was a devastating disappointment when Blippar was forced into administration at the end of last year, but today’s news is a hugely positive outcome. We continue to believe in the future of augmented reality and see 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.
“We will bring together all of the invaluable R&D, technology capabilities and key learnings gained from the past eight years and invest this in what we believe to be our most powerful asset and most sustainable revenue stream. We are extremely grateful for the overwhelming support during this difficult time and I am very thankful to everyone who has contributed to the Blippar journey so far, in particular our team members without whom we couldn’t have built any of this.”