Norwest Venture Partners Leads $8M Investment in 8th Wall, First Native-Integrated Cross-Platform Developer Solution for Mobile Augmented Reality

Cross-Platform Expands Market and Simplifies Development for AR Applications

Palo Alto, California, UNITED STATES

PALO ALTO, Calif., Feb. 06, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- 8th Wall announced today it has closed a Series A funding round to accelerate development of its augmented reality developer platform. The company received $8M in capital, bringing its total funding to date to $10.4M. Norwest Venture Partners, 8th Wall's lead seed investor, led the Series A round with participation from The Venture Reality Fund (The VR Fund), Shasta Ventures and Sparkland Capital. Vab Goel, a general partner at Norwest Venture Partners, has joined the company’s board of directors. 8th Wall, founded by former Google and Facebook engineers, will dramatically increase the availability of game-changing AR applications.

8th Wall launched the world's first AR platform that works on any iOS and Android phone while integrating seamlessly with ARKit and ARCore. Using 8th Wall’s platform, for the first time, AR applications can now run on over 2.5B smartphones, dramatically expanding the market for app developers. The company is making an early release available which includes highly-optimized computer vision algorithms for 6DoF tracking, lighting estimation and surface detection, paired with easy-to-use APIs for transparent shadows, camera overlays and deformable surface meshes. 8th Wall will continue to expand on this offering with new products and services that address the biggest hurdles facing AR developers.

“Most people’s first experiences with AR will happen on mobile, and mobile AR will undoubtedly be the catalyst for growth in a wide range of industries,” said Erik Murphy-Chutorian, Founder and CEO of 8th Wall. “AR presents the chance to reimagine applications in a way never previously possible and will lead to user interactions that are much more natural. AR developers hold the key, but they need a new suite of tools and services to make it happen. We help them get through the door faster.”

The company is giving developers easy-to-use tools that allow them to quickly bring innovative mobile AR applications to market and increase the number of users who have access to their products. This is done by integrating 8th Wall into their existing development workflows, including platforms such as Unity, which is supported today. Current challenges with AR include designing new interface paradigms for physical interactions, making complex graphics effects accessible to non-specialist developers, implementing cloud-based services for persistent multi-user interactions and the development of new computer vision algorithms for instantaneous environment sensing. This affects companies in the many industries that are building AR strategies, including gaming, e-commerce, retail, manufacturing, construction, real estate, education and more. The funding will be used to support 8th Wall’s growth as it expands engineering, product design and business roles.

“As the augmented reality market continues to grow, the applications developed must be able to meet users’ needs, more quickly and efficiently than ever before,” said Jitesh Ubrani, senior research analyst, IDC. “By allowing developers to build for AR across platforms, 8th Wall is facilitating a new wave of innovation and productivity that will play a key role in the development of AR technology moving forward.”

“8th Wall is accelerating adoption of AR and exploiting the potential of the technology,” said Vab Goel, general partner at Norwest Venture Partners. “Erik and his team know what it takes to succeed in mobile development. Norwest Venture Partners is excited about 8th Wall’s vision.”

Companies in every industry are building AR strategies, including gaming, e-commerce, retail, manufacturing, construction, real estate, education and more. Developers can sign up and download the early release of 8th Wall platform tools today from 8th Wall's website.

About 8th Wall, Inc.
Founded in 2016, 8th Wall, Inc. helps application developers redefine markets by using augmented reality to break down the walls between the physical and digital worlds. 8th Wall’s cross-platform solution lets developers build AR-enriched applications in minutes and deploy them to more than 2.5 billion mobile devices. 8th Wall is headquartered in Palo Alto, Calif. For more information, please visit: Follow 8th Wall on Twitter @the8thWall.

About Norwest Venture Partners
Norwest Venture Partners is a leading Silicon-Valley based venture capital and growth equity investment firm managing more than $6 billion in capital. Since our inception, we have invested in more than 600 companies. The firm invests in early to late stage companies across a wide range of sectors with a focus on consumer, enterprise and healthcare. We offer a deep network of connections, operating experience and wide range of impactful services to help CEOs and founders advance on their journey. Norwest has offices in Palo Alto and San Francisco, with subsidiaries in Mumbai and Bengaluru, India and Herzelia, Israel. The firm has funded more than 575 companies since inception. For more information, please visit Follow Norwest on Twitter @NorwestVP.

Media Contacts:
Kim Lianthamani
Karbo Communications for 8th Wall

Rachel Shatz