Tech community mourns as AR 'unicorn' enters administration
UK technology company Blippar has entered administration following a funding row with one of its shareholders.
The augmented reality business said in a statement that a shareholder had voted against taking on additional funding, which Blippar says it needed to fulfill its plans.
As a result, Paul Appleton and Paul Cooper of insolvency firm David Rubin & Partners have been appointed as joint administrators.
We’re saddened to announce that Blippar has gone into administration today. We’re eternally grateful to all our team members, customers, partners, our board and investors who have been with us on this incredible journey https://t.co/BBxQ3O5MYH— Blippar (@blippar) December 17, 2018
"We will be learning more about the administration process over the coming days and will keep all our stakeholders informed," Blippar stated in a blog post.
"We are not in a position to provide all of the details, at this time. The administrators, which have been appointed by a UK court, will be expected to find a buyer for all or parts of the business."
Blippar was founded in 2011 by Ambarish Mitra and Omar Tayeb and became one of the UK's tech 'unicorns' - start-up businesses with a valuation of $1 billion or more.
Blippar was my first intro to AR many years ago — I remember thinking, this is magic— Steph Rhee ?? Oculus (@stephrhee) December 18, 2018
Had it not been for Blippar’s devotion to lower barriers + increase accessibility to AR, who knows, I may have never embarked on my path to AR/VR
Thank you Blippar for pioneering this community https://t.co/CKIGssWjHO
The company says its team has worked hard to focus the business on its B2B offering in order to reach profitability and deliver long-term value to shareholders.
The strategy was approved unanimously by the board and required a small amount of funding, which needed shareholder approval.
"Regrettably, one shareholder voted against the additional funding, effectively blocking the investment even if they were not asked to participate in any further financing of the business, and despite our extensive efforts to reach a successful resolution," Blippar said.
I didn't just work here. I lived and breathed @Blippar. My colleagues were the nicest, the environment bubbled with inspiration, and I can say I lead the user experience charge for some of the most exciting #AR projects realisable today. It's been a privilege and a pleasure. https://t.co/5lWVEu1snW— Nik Gupta (@nkgpt) December 18, 2018
As part of the administration process, all Blippar's employees have been made redundant, which the company described as "an incredibly sad, disappointing and unfortunate outcome".
At one stage, Blippar employed more than 300 people. However, reports suggest that only 75 staff were employed at the time of its administration.