Saudi Arabia gains control of AR developer Magic Leap for $450 million

With its majority stake in Magic Leap, Saudi Arabia now has a foot in the augmented and virtual reality businesses.

The Telegraph reports that Saudi Arabia has gained majority control of developer Magic Leap in a deal worth $450 million. 

Through its sovereign wealth fund known as Public Investment Fund (PIF), Saudi Arabia now has a stake in the company over 50 percent. Per sources speaking to the Telegraph, "the PIF is entitled to appoint four of the eight directors of the board of directors of Magic Leap."

In 2018, Saudi Arabia raised $400 million in funding for Magic Leap, so it's clear that it's wanted to gain control of the developer for some time. With majority control in the developer, the region now has a presence in augmented and virtual reality, which currently features Meta (via its Quest headsets) and Sony (PlayStation VR).

Magic Leap is the developer behind the augmented reality headset of the same name. The original Magic Leap headset released in 2018 and following its lower-than-expected sales, the developer laid off dozens of staff across multiple departments. Earlier this year, the Magic Leap 2 launched for $3299, though sales numbers have yet to be disclosed.

When Magic Leap first gained attention in the mid-2010s, various tech companies such as Google and Warner Bros. provided funding to the developer. In 2016, the studio reportedly raised $4 billion in funding.

At time of writing, Magic Leap did not provide a statement to The Telegraph, nor has it said anything at all about its recent development.

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