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The UK-based Augmented Reality(AR) startup, Blippar has fallen into administration a couple of weeks back just before Christmas! Once a much-hyped startup has also laid off all of its employees as a part of the administration process. According to the fallen startup, Paul Appleton and Paul Cooper, of David Rubin and Partners, has been appointed as administrators by the UK court.
For the uninitiated, going into administration effectively means the company is being taken under the management of a court-appointed administrator. The administrators, will be expected to find a buyer for all or parts of the business.
Recovering intellectual property!
As a follow-up, Layar, an Amsterdam-based startup that designs and develops mobile-phone applications, is preparing a bid for the intellectual property, they gave to the Blippar five years ago. According to The Daily Telegraph, Raimo van der Klein, founder of Layar was seen gathering a consortium of investors to bid for parts of the Augmented Reality start-up.
Additionally, co-founder of Layar Maarten Lens-FitzGerald will also be joining the consortium along with other investors and VC’s to raise money to recover the intellectual property.
Burnt tens of millions!
To make it more understandable, Layar was acquired by Blippar back in 2014 for £4m in cash to incorporate their technology into Blippar. With that being said, the company burned tens of millions of pounds in an attempt to develop ‘Visual search engine’ similar to Google’s. However, shareholders had some disagreement over whether to inject more money to aid that effort. But things have taken a hard turn, resulting in a collapse.
Founded by Ambarish Mitra, Jessica Butcher, Omar Tayeb, and Steve Spencer, Blippar specialised in Augmented Reality and Computer Vision (AI). The company raised around $150m (£120m) from investors and was reportedly valued at more than $1bn at one point in time.
Based out of Amsterdam, Layar was founded by Claire Boonstra, Maarten Lens-FitzGerald, and Raimo Van Der Klein in 2009. Layar is all about designing and developing mobile augmented reality browsers and interactive print tools. The app allowed users to use their smartphone camera to find out information in various categories.
In their official blog:
Blippar’s services are likely to come to halt once the administrators take control of the business and its servers. As part of the administration process, all employees will be let go. This is an incredibly sad, disappointing, and unfortunate outcome.
The administrators, which have been appointed by a UK court, will be expected to find a buyer for all or parts of the business. We are grateful to all our Blippar team members, customers, partners, our board and investors who have contributed meaningfully to our mission to bridge the physical and digital worlds.
Stay tuned to Silicon Canals for more updates in the tech startup world.