Phiar Raises $3M Seed Round For AI-Driven Augmented Reality

Phiar, which is a Palo Alto, CA-based machine learning and Augmented Reality company has now secured $3 Million in the funding round of Seed.

The round was led by the Venture Reality Fund and Norwest Venture Partners in collaboration with the Anorak Ventures, Cross Culture Ventures, Y Combinator, Innolinks Ventures, GFR Fund, Mayfield Fund, and Half Court Ventures.

The company as of now has a plans to use the funds to develop its navigation app for the smartphones, to be launched in the mobile app stores in mid-2019.

The startup which is founded by the computer Vision Researchers Dr. Chen Ping Yu and Deep Learning Expert Ivy Li. Phiar combines the innovations in the Augmented reality and Deep Learning into a new form of vehicle navigation platform. Its app displays a real driver world surrounding augmented with a painted path, unlike the traditional GPS apps in which the users look away from the road to a decipher instructions.

The company launched at Y Combinator in early 2018.

“The idea came after taking too many wrong turns on the streets of Boston,” says Co-Founder and CEO Dr. Chen-Ping Yu, who was a post-doctoral fellow at Harvard University before Phiar. “What we’re building is going to help people get to their destination faster and safer.”

“We want our users to keep their eyes on the road, looking at the real world rather than a 2D rendering of it,” says Ivy Li, Phiar Co-founder, and CTO. “What makes the experience so unique is the live AR path overlays, made possible by our super-efficient computer vision and deep learning AI that runs on your smartphone. This augments your surroundings rather than distracting you from them.”

“AI-driven immersive and spatial technologies are becoming mainstream,” says Marco DeMiroz, General Partner of the VR Fund. “Phiar’s breakthrough deep learning technology and AR navigation app provides not just value to users, but also sets an example of the kind of incredible potential at the nexus of AI and AR.”

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