3rd PIC 2016 Blippar, United Kingdom: Augmented reality, visual search, artificial intelligence

Blippar, United Kingdom: Augmented reality, visual search, artificial intelligence

To enhance life through a new behaviour – blipping – so people discover more about the world around them

About the product

  • Blippar is creating the world's first visual browser application enabling mobile phone users to scan ("blipp") any object in the world, recognise it and present content. Blippar inspires users to discover more from the world they see around them by serving information, entertainment and utility based on what they point at
  • It also enables brands to tell more of their story by enhancing physical touch points (like print and packaging) using digital technology and placing their content at relevant points in the customer journey
  • The product is currently a mobile phone application on iOS and Android platforms

About the market

Market description

Blippar sits at the intersection of augmented reality (AR) and artificial intelligence (AI):

  • AR is the natural next step for the digital experience with humans being visually driven – augmenting the world around us and creating the "Internet of Things"
  • AI is driving forth a new industrial revolution and is predicted to disrupt all markets. Computer vision is the branch of AI focused on enabling computers to see like humans

Blippar is driving and monetizing this space through a sponsored content model as part of visual search and software services for agencies and brands to create AR experiences.

Market figures

Initial projections had AR hitting 200 million users per year by 2018. In 2016, it reached 200 million users every day through Snapchat and Pokemon Go. The opportunity is huge.

The AR marketplace is predicted to be worth $90B by 2020.

Questions to Danny Lopez, Chief Operating Officer

What are your venture’s key achievements to date?

Since launching in 2011, Blippar has expanded rapidly to 13 offices worldwide, partnering with some of the biggest and most exciting brands and media owners in the world.

  • March 2016: $54M Series D funding round lead by Khazanah Nasional Berhad with the strategic investment fund of the Government of Malaysia
  • June 2016: Blippar was ranked 9th in CNBC’s list of most disruptive companies
  • June 2016: Launch of visual search platform in beta and Blipparsphere knowledge graph
  • June 2016: Democratising AR – launch of Blippbuilder, Blippar API AR creation tools for brands and agencies

What are you plans for future development?

  • We are continuously investing in R&D in order to improve our offering and user experience. We have some exciting updates in the pipeline – so stay tuned.

What is your competitive environment?

Blippar has competitors in different areas but no one creating a visual browser to navigate every object and brand in every category:

  • AR Platforms: Vuforia, Daqri, Metaio, Zappar, Aurasma – mixture of platforms and software SDK providers
  • Product Visual Search: Pinterest, Camfind, Vivino, Snapfashion – focus on vertical product categories
  • AI/computer vision: Google, Facebook, Clarifi – large companies using AI for specific applications alongside single application focussed startups.