UPDATED 13:50 EST / SEPTEMBER 06 2022

EMERGING TECH

Varjo focuses on the industrial metaverse with $40M in new funding

Varjo Technologies Oy, a Finnish maker of industrial-grade virtual and mixed reality hardware and software, said today that it has raised $40 million in new funding to build on enterprise opportunities in the industrial metaverse.

Varjo focuses on building enterprise hardware and software for engineers working in electronics and manufacturing and delivering true-to-life, real-time 3D rendering with some of the most advanced VR/XR headsets on the market.

The Series D funding round was backed by existing investors including EQT Ventures, Atomico, Volvo Car Tech Fund, and Lifeline Ventures, also joined by new investors including Mirabaud and Foxconn, which is one of the largest manufacturers of electronics products in the world.

The industrial metaverse is the name given to virtual environments that simulate reality using “digital twins” of real-world objects with fully actualized physics so that they can be previewed, tested and optimized.

By fully simulating a car engine in a virtual environment, an engineer could watch its inner workings up close. The system can also be modified in real time without the need to do so with a physical model and without the danger of pieces flying around a laboratory if a catastrophic failure happened.

In addition, computer models can quickly provide optimal variations that can be applied to a physical model before finally taking it to prototype. All the while, the same 3D virtual experience can be shared with multiple remote collaborators as if they were in the same room.

This same digital twin concept can be applied to entire factory floors, which has been put to use by companies such as Nvidia Corp. and Siemens AG to simulate large-scale manufacturing applications. By reproducing an entire factory, it’s possible for engineers to change an entire assembly line, including robotic workers, machinery and the paths that human operators walk in the virtual environment to understand how it would change efficiency before committing to the change.

Market Prospects predicts that the industrial metaverse will become a $540 billion market by 2025 as more companies continue to use its technologies for manufacturing and collaboration. Microsoft offers digital twin technology as well for simulating real-world objects, Boeing uses digital twins to simulate and engineer entire planes, and Unilever uses it to reduce waste in its product lines.

Varjo said that it will use the funds to continue to develop its research and development cloud services, specifically its Varjo Reality Cloud real-time collaboration service. In combination with Varjo’s human-eye-quality XR headsets, users can interact with one another remotely on projects with extremely high visual fidelity that ‘ imperceptibly different from locally rendered content.

“Our new funding is a testament to the incredible growth Varjo has seen over the past few years as interest for enterprise XR adoption grows,” said Varjo Chief Executive Timo Toikkanen. “The vision for a true-to-life metaverse for professionals is already here.”

Varjo boasts a large number of customers among the world’s biggest manufacturing companies including Volvo Cars, Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Aston Martin and Kia. The company also works with various government departments across the United States and Europe as well.

Photo: Varjo

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