Los Angeles-based Oblong Industries, an immersive visual collaboration solutions provider, has raised $65 million in funding. The investors included Greenspring Associates, Industry Ventures and UTIMCO.
Oct. 18, 2016, Los Angeles, CA – Oblong Industries, the pioneering developer of spatial, immersive, and gesture-enabled technologies for the new era of collaborative work, today announced a significant investment from Greenspring Associates, the Owings Mills, Md.-based firm that focuses on companies in expansion stage, alongside Silicon Valley-based Industry Ventures and Austin-based UTIMCO, the investment arm of the University of Texas. These firms are joined by historical partners Morgan Stanley and Foundry Group, bringing the round of growth funding to a total of $65 million.
The investment will allow Oblong to accelerate product development, launch market-redefining innovations faster, and ramp an aggressive strategy of expansion into new territories. Oblong’s success in the USA and Western Europe has already proven the need for powerful visual collaboration tools in solving complex problems. This need and the vast commercial opportunity around it are global by nature, and the company will continue to scale its reach in service of the worldwide market.
Jim Lim, Managing General Partner at Greenspring Associates, comments:
“Greenspring loves to get behind companies that have shown a genuine ability to produce innovative workplace solutions for the 21st century. Oblong is the clear leader in delivering Infopresence, the immersive collaboration experience essential for all companies that demand sustainably increased workforce productivity.”
Oblong, headquartered in Los Angeles, is the developer of the Mezzanine product for immersive visual collaboration and of distinctive data visualization solutions at architectural scale — all based on its unique g-speak technology. The g-speak software platform enables multi-machine, device-agnostic spatial operating environments offering simultaneous input modalities including gesture and touch. Current customers include NASA, PwC, and IBM, along with many dozens of others in the Fortune 500 and Forbes Global 2000.
Roland Reynolds, Managing Director of Industry Ventures adds:
“Our team is passionate about working with visionary companies at growth stage. Oblong is a spectacular example of the kind of tech leader we love to support — its products and UI-led technologies are defining a big part of the professional future.”
In addition to its customer base of global business innovators, Oblong has established a foothold in government, education, and healthcare, demonstrating the sector-agnostic value of immersive, visually-rich, collaborative, and highly capable spatial computing. The fluid nature of g-speak, and of applications like Mezzanine for presentation, collaboration, and real-time situational awareness, is crucial to any organization tackling topics that require the attention of multiple stakeholders, and content sources, simultaneously.
Susan Chen, UTIMCO’s Managing Director and MCC, Technology & Deal Legal, comments: “We’re excited to be a part of Oblong’s bold vision of the future. UTIMCO is keenly interested in the kind of first-class innovation that will take our society and economy into the next generation. We are thrilled to help Oblong accelerate the development and launch of their leading-edge collaboration products.”
UTIMCO, Industry Ventures, and Greenspring Associates join Morgan Stanley and Foundry Group, who have also participated in the round. As returning investors, both firms see the wide market potential for Oblong’s products and solutions.
Says Jamey Sperans, Managing Director at Morgan Stanley AIP: “From the beginning, we’ve admired and invested in the Oblong team’s conviction that immersive collaboration will become a strategic driver of economic value for large companies. This view is now being borne out, commercially and at scale, and we are delighted to support an initiative to build on this vision even more rapidly.”
Brad Feld, Co-Founder of Foundry Group adds: “Oblong is one of a kind. Their technology and products have essentially implemented science fiction – they’ve made sci-fi actionable, but also essential. This stuff is the future of work.”
The company, founded by MIT Media Lab researcher and award-winning computer scientist John Underkoffler, was recently named a “Cool Vendor” in Gartner’s 2016 report on Human-Machine Interface.
“This is a validation of Oblong’s vision and growth potential,” said John Underkoffler, CEO, Oblong Industries. “The future of work is coming fast, and we’re proud to be able to offer the immersive, visually rich, and highly capable tools that enable people at all levels to be as creative, collaborative, and productive in the workplace as success in this century requires.”
About Oblong Industries
Oblong Industries’ innovative technologies change the way people work, create, and communicate. With roots in more than two decades of research at the MIT Media Lab, Oblong’s flagship product Mezzanine™ is an immersive visual collaboration solution that defines the next era of computing: multi-user, multi-screen, multi-device, multi-location. Mezzanine’s groundbreaking Infopresence capabilities multiply the effectiveness of distributed organizations and catalyze new, more effective, more collaborative workflows. Oblong is headquartered in Los Angeles and supplies Mezzanine systems to Fortune 500 enterprise customers and reseller partners.