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Google Reportedly Acquires Lytro, Which Made Refocusable Light Field Cameras

Accepted submission by takyon at 2018-03-21 09:58:23

Google is reportedly [] acquiring Lytro [], a company that made light field cameras [] and hoped to pivot to virtual reality video capture. Google appears to have gotten a good (or at least cheap) deal:

Multiple sources tell us that Google is acquiring Lytro [], the imaging startup that began as a ground-breaking camera company for consumers before pivoting to use its depth-data, light-field technology in VR.

One source described the deal as an "asset sale" with Lytro going for no more than $40 million. Another source said the price was even lower: $25 million. A third source tells us that not all employees are coming over with the company's technology: some have already received severance and parted ways with the company, and others have simply left. Assets would presumably also include Lytro's 59 patents [] related to light-field and other digital imaging technology.

The sale would be far from a big win for Lytro and its backers. The startup has raised just over $200 million in funding and was valued at around $360 million after its last round in 2017, according to data from PitchBook [].

Despite a lot of hype, Lytro had little success [] with its expensive, ergonomically challenged, and low resolution light field cameras for consumers.

Also at 9to5Google [] and Engadget [].

Related: LinkedIn's Top 10 Silicon Valley Startups for 'Talent Brand' [] - Note: Both Lytro and Theranos [] are on the list.
A Pocket Camera with Many Eyes - Inside the Development of Light []

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