Google is reportedly [techcrunch.com] acquiring Lytro [wikipedia.org], a company that made light field cameras [wikipedia.org] 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 [lytro.com], 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 [google.com] 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 [pitchbook.com].
Despite a lot of hype, Lytro had little success [imaging-resource.com] with its expensive, ergonomically challenged, and low resolution light field cameras for consumers.
Related: LinkedIn's Top 10 Silicon Valley Startups for 'Talent Brand' [soylentnews.org] - Note: Both Lytro and Theranos [soylentnews.org] are on the list.
A Pocket Camera with Many Eyes - Inside the Development of Light [soylentnews.org]