Rescued AR tech firm Blippar reveals new CEO
Former tech unicorn Blippar has appointed a new CEO to lead its recovery following its administration last year.
Faisal Galaria has joined from GoCompare.com, where he is chief strategy and investments officer and helped lead its IPO.
The former Spotify and Kayak executive is thought of as a turnaround specialist having also worked as a senior partner at restructuring giant Alvarez & Marsal.
He replaces former CEO Ambarish Mitra (below), who founded Blippar in London in 2011 and will now serve as chief product officer.
Blippar became one of the UK’s first tech unicorns – companies with a $1 billion-plus valuation – but was placed into administration in December 2018 after a major investor refused new funding.
It was bought out of administration by existing shareholder Candy Ventures early this year.
"We have received overwhelming support from our clients, team, partners, Candy Ventures and everyone in the industry over the last few months and I am extremely grateful for it,” said Mitra, who will work closely with Galaria and new CTO Preet Prasannan.
“I’m excited to be working with Faisal as we continue to push the boundaries of what is possible with AR in its journey to become a mass medium."
Blippar’s app allowed users to point their smartphones at tagged objects such as supermarket products to reveal additional content such as information and games.
Galaria will now focus on creation and publishing platform ‘Blippbuilder’, which enables brands and app users to create and publish their own AR experiences.
He also led Skype’s European business in the tech giant’s early days and was credited with launching Spotify in seven countries and clinching a music agreement with Facebook.