Knowledge Transfer Platform Company RealWear Raises $80 Million

By Noah Long ● July 8, 2019
  • Knowledge transfer and training platform company RealWear announced it raised $80 million in Series B funding

RealWear — a knowledge transfer and training platform company for connected workers — announced it has raised $80 million in Series B funding. The funds are set up in a combination of equity and debt. And it will be used for continued market expansion and accelerating platform development.

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And RealWear partnered with JPMorgan Chase & Co. to architect an investment syndicate led by Teradyne and it includes Bose Ventures, Qualcomm Ventures, Kopin Corporation, and investors from JPMorgan’s Private Bank. 

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“Our seed investments came from friends, family, early customers, suppliers, and business partners. Their faith carried us to our Series A, led by Columbia Ventures Corporation. CVC’s experience in heavy industry, one of our primary markets, made it a perfect match,” said RealWear co-founder and CEO Andy Lowery. “It was critical that RealWear’s new investors be business and technology leaders. Teradyne, Bose Ventures, Qualcomm Ventures, and Kopin fit that bill.”

RealWear provides in-situ information and in-the-field training with software and hardware to help people improve safety and increase productivity at work. And the HMT-1 head-mounted wearable Android-class tablet has been known for freeing a worker’s hands for dangerous jobs.

“The augmented reality enterprise market has experienced a great deal of hype, but long-term, real-world solutions have been thin on the ground,” added Tom Mainelli — VP of Devices and AR/VR at IDC Group. “RealWear smartly recognized the need for a no-nonsense head-mounted display and has delivered no-frills products that help frontline workers to get their jobs done more safely and efficiently.”

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Ever since RealWear launched, the company has focused on products that are specifically designed for the connected enterprise workforce to improve job satisfaction, productivity, and safety. And RealWear’s hands-free wearable computers enhance the situational awareness while delivering vital information on demand in the harshest of environments.

“RealWear has created a powerful platform that aligns with our vision for a safer, more productive work environment powered by easy to use, rapid ROI automation solutions,” explained Teradyne CEO and president Mark Jagiela. “RealWear’s strategy to leverage the power of advanced technologies like Augmented Reality to assist workers across a wide range of tasks has many parallels with Teradyne’s industrial automation strategy and we look forward to helping RealWear continue their exciting growth.”

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In the last 18 months, RealWear hit a number of milestones. This includes 15,000+ HMT systems shipped; 1,300+ enterprise customers globally; and 120+ workforce software applications.

“Qualcomm Ventures invests in companies that drive innovation and impact across industries. RealWear has experienced strong growth and is well positioned to become a leading platform for connected workers everywhere,” noted Richard Tapalaga — Director at Qualcomm Technologies and Investment Director at Qualcomm Ventures. “We are excited to invest in RealWear as we believe its unique platform will help drive value to the entire IoT ecosystem.”

With this round of funding, RealWear has now raised a total of more than $100 million. And Lowery told Crunchbase that this round gives the company infinite runway.

Since the last round of funding, the company’s revenue increased by 40% in a compounding way. In Q2 2018, the company hit $9 million in revenue compared to $5.2 million the quarter before that. In 2018, RealWear hit $12 million in total revenue and it is targeting $50 million for 2019.

RealWear also has a joined venture in China — which gives it special access to state-backed industrial companies operating in the country. And RealWear China is largely unaffected by the tariff war between the U.S. and China.