Appear XR secures €880k in pre-seed funding to revolutionise the augmented and mixed reality product design process
A paradigm shift is underway as we switch from traditional handheld apps to spatial experiences that interact with the world around us, but the design tools to support this transition are failing to keep up. Appear XR, a Norwegian start-up building the tools to unify this process, has successfully raised €880k (10.2 NOK) in pre-seed funding from a mix of international and Norwegian VCs and angels.
These include Sondo Capital as lead investor, plus Foundamental, Mana Industries, Neil Murray-The Nordic Web, Erlend Hausken and more. The funds will allow the company to expand its team and secure product development for the next 18 months.
Appear XR’s vision is to become the leading platform and universal design tool for augmented and mixed reality. The company is building a powerful no-code, collaborative design suite that allows both industry veterans and novices to conceptualise and prototype spatial experiences—from virtual try-ons to advanced applications for XR headsets. The suite aims to make it as easy to design for XR as it is to design for apps and websites today.
“The most challenging part of working with AR and VR technologies is designing solid and intuitive user experiences. Designers and product teams often use different tools to ideate, conceptualise and iterate on a single design, which can result in fragmented deliverables with little chance to keep iterating or quickly adjust. This is a major barrier for companies. With our tools, we want to massively improve the workflow and enable joyful spatial experiences”, says co-founder and CEO Gregor Finger.
“The recent surge in AR hardware presents a unique chance to explore and develop groundbreaking applications. What's needed now are easier-to-use tools that work across these platforms and systems. I’m excited to make the Appear ecosystem a game-changer for the industry, and over the next year, we'll be working hard to bring our first product to life”, says co-founder Boris Kourtoukov.
Having worked with top global brands like BMW and IKEA, Gregor had felt the need to improve the design process for a long time. The motivation grew to save time and money while designing, and also to create more joyful experiences. Boris has a comprehensive background in programming and interaction design across a range of agencies, start-ups, and government departments.
Gregor and Boris saw the opportunity to kick off Appear XR while working at the tech-driven design agency Bakken & Bæck, as a spatial computing lead and creative technologist, respectively. The studio has served as an incubator for the start-up, nurturing its growth and development, and now supports Appear XR as an investor. BB is also known internationally for its innovative use of emerging technologies, like AI and machine learning.
“This pre-seed funding means Appear XR can accelerate its development and bring our products to market. We’re proud to have secured the funding in an incredibly difficult market and we’re excited about the future. We truly believe in the platform’s potential to revolutionise the product design process for both augmented and mixed reality”, says Gregor.