Magic Leap Gets Half-billion Dollar Boost Ahead of Vision Pro Launch

Saudi Arabia has recently injected more than half a billion dollars into augmented reality company Magic Leap, which it hopes will rival Apple’s Vision Pro mixed reality headset.

Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund gained majority share of the US-based Magic Leap in January 2023, widening its stake in the AR hardware creator with a deal tallying $450 million.

The wealth fund, which is controlled by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, invests in projects considered to be strategically significant to diversifying its national economy.

Magic Leap 2 | Photo by Road to VR

Now The Telegraph reports the country’s investment arm has injected another $590 million (£463 million) into Magic Leap. The fresh funding round brings the company’s overall outside investment to more than $4.5 billion.

Founded in 2010 by Rony Abovitz, the Plantation, Florida-based company first launched its first AR headset, Magic Leap 1 (previously styled ‘One’), with consumer ambitions. Seen as an early misstep by the company, the device was left to straddle the prosumer segment with limited success. To boot, in mid-2020 Abovitz stepped down as CEO, bringing in Microsoft’s Executive VP of Business Development Peggy Johnson to fill the role.

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Shortly after the company released its follow-up headset, Magic Leap 2, which was squarely targeted at enterprise partners at $3,500—the same price as Apple’s soon-to-launch Vision Pro mixed reality headset.

Vision Pro is a mixed reality headset that, unlike the see-through waveguide-based Magic Leap 2, uses virtual reality displays and passthrough cameras to deliver augmented reality apps.

Will Magic Leap 2 be able to compete with Apple? It’s certainly worth watching. Whatever the case, if Magic Leap hopes to release a third device, it likely needed the cash, as the company has reportedly been unprofitable since the launch of Magic Leap 1 in 2018.