AR Startup Blippar Collapses Into Administration

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Today, Blippar, an augmented reality start-up firm, has announced that it has collapsed into administration after a dispute over funding.

The company had once claimed to be a unicorn after it surpassed a $1 billion valuation, however, administrators at David Rubin and Partners said that it has collapsed following an “alleged dispute over continued funding.”  It has already stopped trading and appointed administrators.

Last week, the Sunday Times reported that Blippar issued a warning to its shareholders that Khazanah, a Malaysian sovereign wealth fund that is one of the biggest two investors of the company, had prevented an emergency fundraising round.

Paul Appleton, an administrator, stated: “Paul Appleton and Paul Cooper of David Rubin & Partners were appointed as Joint Administrators of Blippar.com Limited on 17 December 2018.”

He added: “They are managing the affairs, business and property of the Company.”

He continued: “The appointment of Administrators has arisen effectively as a result of an alleged dispute over continued funding. Following their appointment, the Administrators are now exploring all possible options for the future of the business for the benefit of all Stakeholders.”

The company posted a loss amounting to £34.4 million for the 12 months to March last year. Last September, it announced that it had raised approximately $37 million from investors, bringing the total amount of capital raised since the launch of the tech start-up in 2010 to $150 millon.

Blippar is one of the best-funded tech startups of the United Kingdom, however, it has been struggling with its business model and low user engagement.

Blippar was once hailed as a British technology hopeful and an early pioneer of augmented reality technology. It saw virtual images imposed over the real world with the use of its smartphone app.

The shareholders of the company include Qualcomm Ventures, hedge fund Lansdowne Partners, and Candy Ventures, a vehicle that is controlled by the brothers Christian and Nick Candy.