Mojo Vision raises more than $51 million Series B to fund the development of futuristic AR smart contact lens
Smart contact lenses, essentially flexible displays packed with augmented reality tech, are an obvious way to explore virtual and augmented reality (AR), and camera technologies. Mojo Vision is an invisible computing startup company that’s already looking beyond that form factor with an AR contact lens.
Today, Mojo Vision announced it has raised more than $51 million in a Series B-1 investment round to propel the development of the first true smart contact lens, Mojo Lens. The round was led by New Enterprise Associates (NEA) with participation from top strategic investors and venture firms, including Gradient Ventures, Khosla Ventures, Motorola Solutions Venture Capital, Fusion Fund, and others. The new round brings Mojo Vision’s total funding to date to more than $159 million. In conjunction with the funding, Mojo also announced that Greg Papadopoulos, PhD, venture partner at NEA, will join its board of directors. Papadopoulos and NEA co-led the seed round in Mojo Vision along with CEO and co-founder Drew Perkins.
Founded in 2015 by Drew Perkins, Michael Deering, and Michael Wiemer, the Saratoga, California-based Mojo Vision is a fledgling augmented reality company that develops products and platforms. Mojo envisions delivering information and knowledge that is immediate, but without the disruption of traditional devices. Mojo Lens is currently in the research and development phase and is not available for sale anywhere in the world.
In January, Mojo announced that it is in the process of building the world’s first true smart contact lens, called Mojo Lens. Mojo Lens is a contact lens with a built-in display that is designed to give people useful and timely information without forcing them to look down at a screen or lose focus on the people and the world around them. Mojo calls this eyes-up experience Invisible Computing, a platform that enables information to be instantaneous, unobtrusive, and available hands-free, allowing people to interact with each other more freely and genuinely.
“The unveiling of the details of our product development earlier this year has generated increased excitement and momentum around the potential of Mojo Lens,” said Perkins. “This new round of funding brings more support and capital from strategic investors and companies to help us continue our breakthrough technology development. It gets us closer to bringing the benefits of Mojo Lens to people with vision impairments, to enterprises and eventually, consumers.”
The company is planning an early application of Mojo Lens to help people who live with vision impairment. By using enhanced image overlays, this application is designed to serve as a visual aid, providing real-time contrast and scene enhancement that will make navigation, obstacle avoidance and personal interactions easier. Mojo is actively working with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) through its Breakthrough Devices Program, a voluntary program designed to provide safe and timely access to medical devices that can help treat irreversibly debilitating diseases or conditions.
“NEA has been with Mojo since the beginning, sharing the vision to build and bring to market the first true smart contact lens,” said Papadopoulos. “The potential applications of this innovative technology could fundamentally change the way we work and view our world, as well as improve the quality of life for people with vision impairment. This is a tremendously exciting opportunity and I’m humbled to be joining the board of directors and to continue partnering with the talented team at Mojo.”