Lytro raises $50 million in new funding, will use money to shift focus to virtual reality

By Shawn Knight
Feb 26, 2015
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  1. lytro video light field camera funding virtual reality investing light field illum jason rosenthal illum camera light field technology

    There’s both good and bad news coming out of photography startup Lytro this week. On one hand, the innovative company has raised an additional $50 million in funding. The bad news? The money is being used for a strategic shift that’ll see a significant portion of Lytro’s workforce lose their jobs.

    In a message to Re/code, Lytro chief Jason Rosenthal said $50 million is a nice big number, but it isn’t unlimited. As a result, they had to make some pretty tough decisions which include making cuts in some areas so they can staff up in new areas.

    The publication points out that Lytro is expected to axe between 25 and 50 people from a roster of just 130. At the same time, they’ll set out about hiring additional staff with expertise in new areas including video and virtual reality.

    lytro video light field camera funding virtual reality investing light field illum jason rosenthal illum camera light field technology

    All of the previous investors participated in the new round of funding as well as newcomers GSV Capital, Allen & Co. and Danhua Capital. The new money values Lytro at five times the valuation of its previous round.

    On the subject of virtual reality, Rosenthal correctly highlighted the fact that the market for new devices is booming. While it’s easy to display computer-generated content on virtual reality headsets, it’s still incredibly difficult and expensive to do the same with real-world imagery.

    Lytro’s light-field technology is the perfect solution for this problem, he said.

    Despite new interests, Lytro isn’t ditching its photography ambitions. The executive said they still have updates in the pipeline for the Illum camera and will be releasing a third-generation model sometime next year.

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    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 5, 2015
  2. VitalyT

    VitalyT Russ-Puss Posts: 3,114   +1,379

    50 mil? I bet! Read it - CEO getting a new porche, VIP lounging downtown... what did the good'ol gestapo from The Wolf of the Wallstreet call it,...oh yes - AJ Entertainment...
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2015
  3. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 11,467   +1,760

    Ah yes, the future of VR, waving green and red light bulbs in front of your face.

    Would it be too difficult for many people to handle, seeing the light bulbs without a mask?

    Forgive me kiddies, I come from an uninspired time way back when an LSD high, wouldn't even be strong enough for that to hold our attention.

    Wow, can I make a private donation to fund continuing research on this?:oops:

    Well @Shawn Knight I honestly thing that first paragraph should have read, "the good news coming out of photography this week is Lytro is leaving it". "The bad news is, they have sponged 50 million dollars off hapless investors, and are bringing their confidence racket to VR"!
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2015
    Arris likes this.

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