The mobile AR platform war was kicked off at F8 by Mark Zuckerberg’s “We’re making the camera the first augmented reality platform.” That simple sentence transformed what had been a one-hit wonder in Pokémon Go into an epic battle between Facebook, Apple, Google, Tencent, Snap, Alibaba, Baidu, Samsung, Huawei and more. Now Apple’s launch of its ARkit for iOS as “the largest AR platform in the world” has taken the mobile AR war to the next level. They’re fighting over a market that could hit over a billion users and $60 billion revenue globally by 2021 (as detailed in Digi-Capital’s Augmented/Virtual Reality Report).
Yearly Archives: 2017
Mark Zuckerberg’s “We’re making the camera the first augmented reality platform” was the first major step towards mass market AR. Apple’s launch of ARkit for iOS as “the largest AR platform in the world” was the second. Where Pokémon Go gave consumers their first taste of mobile AR, and Google Tango ushered in the race towards high end mobile AR phones, Facebook’s AR Platform and iOS ARkit now democratize mobile AR software regardless of hardware. Together with Apple launching an AR enabled iPhone this year or next year, Facebook and Apple have now turned mobile AR into the next great platform war. Consumers will win as usual, but there will be blood (as detailed in Digi-Capital’s Augmented/Virtual Reality Report). Read more on The mobile AR platform war…
Despite Facebook’s blockbuster $3 billion Oculus acquisition in 2014, VR/AR has been too early stage for large scale mergers and acquisitions (M&A) so far. But that’s set to change in the next 12 to 18 months, so let’s look at what could drive M&A deals going forward.
Where Digi-Capital’s Augmented/Virtual Reality Report Q1 2017 and deals database tracked $1.5 billion investments in the last 12 months to Q1 2017, there was only $600 million of M&As in the same period. That dynamic of investments outstripping M&As is typical of early stage tech markets, when deal making is all about investment for growth rather than consolidation for dominance or cost.
Now we have 12 months of real-world performance since the VR/AR market launched last year, it’s time to do a reality check on VC and corporate investors. VCs told us last year how they were to going to invest in VR/AR. Let’s see if they put their money where their mouths were.
Last year was a record breaker for games, with Digi-Capital’s Games Report 2017 recording $30.3 billion games deals in 2016. The $28.4 billion of games mergers and acquisitions (M&A) was 77% higher than 2014’s previous record, and $1.9 billion games investment was the second highest ever. After a games deals ice age in 2015, what put a rocket up deal makers last year?