Oblong Industries has raised $65 million in funding to build technologies that will make collaborative work much easier. Oblong is combining spatial, immersive, and gesture technologies, brought to you by John Underkoffler, who was the science advisor for the Tom Cruise film Minority Report.
The Los Angeles company raised the money from Greenspring Associates, Morgan Stanley, Foundry Group, Industry Ventures, and UTIMCO (the investment arm of the University of Texas). The round is a big vote of confidence for the tech company’s growth plans.
The investment will allow Oblong to accelerate product development, launch “market-redefining innovations” faster, and start expansion into new territories. Oblong already has collaboration tools available in the U.S. and Western Europe. Now it plans to take those tools worldwide.
“This is a validation of Oblong’s vision and growth potential,” said Underkoffler, CEO of Oblong Industries, in a statement. “The future of work is coming fast, and we’re proud to be able to offer the immersive, visually rich, and highly capable tools that enable people at all levels to be as creative, collaborative, and productive in the workplace as success in this century requires.”
Oblong makes the Mezzanine product for immersive visual collaboration and data visualization. It does so on an “architectural scale,” meaning it works with your building design and uses its unique “g-speak” technology. G-speak software enables multi-machine, device-agnostic spatial operating environments with simultaneous gesture and touch inputs.
Jim Lim, managing general partner at Greenspring Associates, said in a statement, “Greenspring loves to get behind companies that have shown a genuine ability to produce innovative workplace solutions for the 21st century. Oblong is the clear leader in delivering Infopresence, the immersive collaboration experience essential for all companies that demand sustainably increased workforce productivity.”
Current customers include NASA, PwC, and IBM, along with many dozens of others in the Fortune 500 and Forbes Global 2000.
Roland Reynolds, managing director of Industry Ventures, said in a statement, “Our team is passionate about working with visionary companies at growth stage. Oblong is a spectacular example of the kind of tech leader we love to support — its products and UI-led technologies are defining a big part of the professional future.”
Oblong has established a foothold in government, education, and healthcare, demonstrating the value of immersive, visually-rich, collaborative, and highly capable spatial computing.
Underkoffler was a researcher at the MIT Media Lab. The company has raised $104 million, to date, and it has more than 100 employees. Competitors include Bluescape, Prysm, and Mersive.
Brad Feld, cofounder of Foundry Group, said in a statement, “Oblong is one-of-a-kind. Their technology and products have essentially implemented science fiction — they’ve made sci-fi actionable, but also essential. This stuff is the future of work.”