Saudi public fund invests in artificial reality

Virtual_reality_headsetSaudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund has reportedly invested $461 million in a controversial artificial reality start-up. Magic Leap has so far attracted more than $2.3 billion in funding with its latest round of financing totalling $963 million. Singapore’s Temasek Holdings made up the remaining $502 million. The start-up aims to launch an artificial-reality headset and developer kit, the Magic Leap One headset Creator Edition, that it claims will produce a photo-realistic augmented and mixed reality experience and will be launched in early 2018. Magic Leap has attracted scepticism from the tech media that points out that, despite launching in 2011, it has yet to put out a single product. Nor has there been a live demonstration of any of its products. Most damagingly, Magic Leap was forced to admit that a marketing video it produced did not feature images from its technology but was instead made by a Hollywood special effects company. The company boasts a number of well-known investors including Alphabet (Google), Alibaba Group, Qualcomm, Warner Bros and JP Morgan Investment Group. ©2018 funds global mena

Executive Interviews

INTERVIEW: ‘Financing is the blood of Iran’s economy’

Jan 04, 2019

Amid a fresh wave of American sanctions, Romil Patel spoke to Meysam Hamedi, director of financial markets and instruments at Iran’s Securities & Exchange Organization (SEO).

INTERVIEW: Totally mega

Jun 13, 2018

In 2016, global consulting firm PWC forecast the emergence of five global ‘megatrends’ in the next two decades. Stephen Anderson, its Middle East clients and markets leader, talks about their...


ROUNDTABLE: Hooked to the global caravan

Jan 04, 2019

With the MENA region at a tipping point, our panellists talk about economic diversification, the impact of regulation and the delayed Saudi Aramco listing. Chaired by Romil Patel in Dubai.

MENA ROUNDTABLE: ‘The story is about reforms’

Jun 13, 2018

Our cross-industry panel discuss the positive backdrop in Egypt, the Dana Gas controversy and the potential index upgrades of Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. Chaired by George Mitton in Dubai.