Augmented reality and virtual reality can seem like fantastical fields, with new technologies emerging that sound like they were dreamed up in science fiction books and movies. But this is a real and growing industry, with new augmented reality startup companies making waves in the field every day.
Startup founders are on the cutting age of new virtual reality technology, from creating virtual reality games to advancing 3D technology, artificial intelligence, and product design. Whether you want to work in the augmented reality space or get a job in virtual reality development, this guide covers the best augmented reality startups in business today.
What Are Augmented Reality Startup Companies?
Augmented reality startup companies are immersive digital experience companies in their early stages. They create mixed reality experiences between the real and digital worlds by using technology that adds new information to physical space, such as audio, text, or graphics. Many are based in the United States, but some of the top startups are in India and Korea.
Top Augmented Reality Companies That Began as Startups
Augmented reality began as early as 1975 with ambitious founders and innovators. Over time, computing costs have decreased and virtual reality technologies have become more accessible. Many companies launched in the early days of augmented reality have managed to remain relevant over the years, including some household names in computing and tech.
Big Augmented Reality Companies
5. Gravity Jack
The Best Augmented Reality Startup Companies
|Company Name||Location||Funding||Number of Employees|
|Avataar||Bengaluru, India||$52.0M||273 (2022)|
|Clo Virtual Fashion||Seoul, South Korea||$4.8M||214 (2022)|
|Heru||Miami, Florida||$32.7M||70 (2022)|
|Magic Leap||Plantation, Florida||$3.5B||1,217 (2022)|
|Niantic||San Francisco, California||$770M||1,025 (2022)|
|Oculus||Menlo Park, California||$98.4M||994 (2022)|
|Play Shifu||Bengaluru, India||$35.4M||150 (2022)|
|Rec Room||Seattle, Washington||$294M||197 (2022)|
|Red 6||Santa Monica, California||$40.9M||46 (2022)|
|Specular Theory||Los Angeles, California||$5.7M||11 (2022)|
The Top Augmented Reality Startups: A Closer Look
- Founded: 2014
- Funding: $45.0M
Avataar uses 3D technology, artificial intelligence, and augmented reality to enable scalable product discovery. It brings spatial depth to the on-screen shopping or browsing experience, which improves the consumer experience by making it possible for customers to discover products from companies.
Clo Virtual Fashion
- Founded: 2009
- Funding: $4.5M
Clo Virtual Fashion wants to revolutionize the fashion industry by digitizing every garment ever created. They use virtual reality to create 3D simulations that can be used for everything from garment draping to product design. Its technology is used in the gaming and film industries as well.
- Founded: 2018
- Funding: $32.7M
Heru is a tech startup that focuses on societal impact. Showing the biomedical potential of augmented reality technology, they’re focusing on solving vision defects. Heru develops vision augmentation applications, deploying an algorithm to automatically improve vision defects based on each patient’s unique physiology.
- Founded: 2011
- Funding: $3.5B
Magic Leap’s niche is creating wearable technology that provides powerful augmented reality platforms for businesses. Its headsets create computer graphics that are indistinguishable from items in the real world. The AR technology allows work teams from anywhere in the world to collaborate remotely and conduct better reviews, aided by 3D visualization.
- Founded: 2011
- Funding: $770M
Niantic is a household name thanks to the exceptional performance of its augmented reality games. It has become one of the leading AR companies by developing titles like Ingress, Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, and Pokémon GO. These games use artificial intelligence to integrate digital images into the real world through players’ cell phones.
- Founded: 2012
- Funding: $98.4M
Oculus is another household name in the virtual reality game space, with hardware like the Oculus Rift headset and the Oculus Quest 2. Apart from its wearable mixed-reality glasses, it also develops its own games and software, like fan favorites Beat Saber and Tilt Brush, which create fully immersive virtual experiences.
- Founded: 2016
- Funding: $38.4M
Play Shifu is a virtual reality company located in India and is a leading toy manufacturer that aims to make a societal impact by providing educational play experiences for kids. The startup founders created Play Shifu to embrace technology as an important part of children’s development, transforming screen time for children into something meaningful.
- Founded: 2016
- Funding: $294M
Rec Room is a social network and gaming platform. It allows users to create a virtual space to meet with their friends, play games, and have fun. Players are allowed to create rooms or build something new and amazing. Rec Room involves crossplay with a phone and a virtual reality headset.
- Founded: 2018
- Funding: $40.9M
Red 6 is one of the most revolutionary virtual training products on the market today. It is used for military training and piloting applications worldwide. The Red 6 company is transforming live, virtual, and constructive training by providing essential capabilities to improve the readiness of the United States military and its allies across the globe.
- Founded: 2013
- Funding: $5.7M
Specular Theory enjoys a reputation as one of the most exceptional virtual reality companies operating today. It creates and distributes high-tech and high-fidelity virtual reality, augmented reality, and mixed reality software. Its applications provide immersive experiences and tools for the defense and aerospace sectors.
Benefits of Working at an Augmented Reality Startup
Augmented reality is the future, and there are many benefits to working for a cutting-edge startup company in this field. Five benefits of working at an augmented reality startup company are listed below.
Top 5 Reasons to Work at an Augmented Reality Startup
1. Access to new technology. Employees at these tech startups work on exciting augmented reality projects. By eliminating the cost burden of purchasing new technology yourself, you’ll get to learn through experimentation on the job.
2. Ability to work anywhere in the world. Virtual reality and augmented reality startups are popping up all over the world. While many are based in the United States in places like Silicon Valley, you can enjoy working from countries like India, South Korea, and Japan.
3. Opportunities to learn. AR is a constantly-evolving, fast-paced industry. According to Forbes, employers are invested in their employees and provide them with professional training to improve their skillsets and keep them up to date on the latest developments.
4. State-of-the-art communication. While a lot of people still think of virtual reality as a digital entertainment technology, many startups are creating entire virtual spaces for more day-to-day functions. This includes workplaces, so you might get to meet and interact with your coworkers on a virtual reality platform.
5. Cutting-edge applications. Augmented reality, virtual reality, and artificial intelligence are fields that are about imagining and developing new worlds, not just new technologies. You’ll be working for exceptional companies that are pushing boundaries and changing the world.
Can a Coding Bootcamp Help Me Get a Job at an Augmented Reality Startup?
Yes, a coding bootcamp can help you get a job at an augmented reality startup. A coding bootcamp is a short-term but intensive program that teaches students practical tech skills with hands-on training to get them job-ready. Picking a bootcamp from the list below will give you a head start as you break into the augmented reality industry.
"Career Karma entered my life when I needed it most and quickly helped me match with a bootcamp. Two months after graduating, I found my dream job that aligned with my values and goals in life!"
Venus, Software Engineer at Rockbot
Top Bootcamps With Augmented Reality Programs
- Holberton School. Holberton School offers a wide range of courses, such as full-stack development and augmented reality/virtual reality programs.
- Careerist. Careerist offers online programs on topics such as manual QA, tech sales, and systems engineering.
- UXER School. UXER offers excellent tech programs on UI/UX design and virtual reality design, including UX design immersive programs.
- NYU Bootcamps. This school of engineering offers a professional certificate in AR/VR development and 3D graphics.
- Helio Training. Helio Training offers a range of programs on topics like full-stack web development and software QA, among others.
Common Jobs in Augmented Reality
- Augmented Reality Developers: AR developers employ mobile apps to build a layer of digital experience on top of our reality. Pokémon GO is an example of a game that uses this technology.
- AR Design/Graphic Engineers: XR design or graphics engineers bridge the gap between graphics and computer vision research. They collaborate with artists and designers to create and improve experiential prototypes, plus create new visualizations and effects. They are also in charge of their companies’ 3D asset standards.
- Software Engineers: Software engineers play an important role in tech companies. They create new software and features that allow diverse XR technologies to work together. Additionally, they work with both software and hardware components of AR solutions.
- Product and Project Managers: Product and project managers guide product teams through the ideation, development, and launch of new AR solutions, whether for consumers in general or a specific client.
Should I Work for an Augmented Reality Startup Company?
Yes, you should work for an augmented reality startup. These startups are working on the cutting edge of technology and spatial computing. You can work on exciting digital entertainment projects or change the world by working on relevant solutions in the medical field. The immersive experiences you create for the world are only limited by your imagination.
Best Augmented Reality Startups FAQ
The massive technology company Apple is also the leading augmented reality company, with $365.82 billion in annual revenue. Apple has enjoyed steady revenue growth over the last two decades, including an increased growth rate following the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The gaming, food, education, healthcare, real estate, social media, military, entertainment, industrial training, and travel and tourism industries will benefit from augmented reality.
To start an augmented reality company, you have to know the basics of augmented reality. You’ll need a vision for the product you want to create through augmented reality and link up with experts in the field to start building your vision.
Augmented reality creates a mixed reality experience by adding digital elements to enhance the real world, while virtual reality is a completely new, immersive digital world.
About us: Career Karma is a platform designed to help job seekers find, research, and connect with job training programs to advance their careers. Learn about the CK publication.