Upskill, a company focused on creating AR platforms that facilitate employee training with smart glasses, has raised a mammoth $17.2 million in its latest round of funding.
The company also added some very high-profile investors to its current roster. Accenture and Cisco Investments now join the links of Boeing HorizonX, GE Ventures and New Enterprise Associates as backers of Upskill. The company raised £11.3 million last year.
The latest round means that the company has now raised an impressive $57.4 million in total funding.
The company introduced the latest release of its flagship Skylight AR platform in 2017. The platform is designed to support the mass deployment of smart glasses with an enterprise setting. Employees can be connected en masse to the specific information that would allow them to do their jobs with greater efficiency and fewer errors.
“We are ramping up our use of Skylight and wearables inside our operations. Boeing is seeing multiple aircraft manufacturing lines benefit from the solution, and we now want to introduce AR into the services part of our business so we may service our own, and third-party products, for our end-customers,” said Ted Colbert, CIO of The Boeing Company and SVP of Information Technology & Data Analytics.
Cresting the wave
Upskill seems to be optimally placed to take advantage of a surge in interest from enterprises in the potential for AR and wearables to allow their organisations to more agile and competitive.
“Wearables are emerging as a new category of ‘things’ enabling real-time worker connectivity and collaboration in industrial environments. Adoption of AR-enabled smart glasses, in particular, has reached an inflection point,” said Rob Salvagno, Head of Corporate Development and Cisco Investments.
“Upskill has a strong track record of delivering worker productivity, efficiency and safety-based ROI for its customers through its AR platform. Cisco’s investment in Upskill aligns well with our deep commitment to IoT and digital transformation of businesses.”
The market looks to grow significantly in the next few years. ABI Research, for example, is predicting that there will be 32 million smart glass shipments in 2022 and a 171% CAGR.
“We saw substantial growth in the last year further amplified by the launch of our new product release. That acceleration is what led our investors to participate in this new funding round,” said Brian Ballard, co-founder and CEO, Upskill.
“Upskill’s group of investors now include leaders from all parts of the industrial augmented reality ecosystem, which is an important signal in the market and speaks to how we collectively contribute to digital transformation.”
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