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Backing The World’s First Glasses-Free Mixed Reality Solution.

Why We Invested in Distance

In 2016, Varjo was founded and became a category defining company that built some of the most advanced XR products in the world that others tried to imitate.

If you have ever used a Varjo headset, you will have been blown away. As Wired put it: “it stopped looking like VR. It just looked like…well, like real life”.

Equally impressive was Varjo founder, Urho Konttori, who worked at both Nokia and Microsoft on everything from operating systems, optics, user experience, and design. This exceptionally talented founder believed that enterprises would be using VR and mixed reality (XR) as normally as they currently use screen displays.

Today, Urho has founded a new company - building on the pioneering Varjo promise of “human-eye resolution” XR content:

And we are so excited to lead their $2.7M pre-seed round, alongside Maki.VC, Business Finland and David Helgason’s Foobar.VC.

What is Distance?

Pioneering the world’s first true glasses-free XR solution, Distance seeks to integrate advanced XR technology into our everyday environments, without the constraints of traditional hardware.

Made for the automotive and aerospace sectors, Distance can transform virtually any transparent surface into a window for extended reality with a computer-generated 3D light field that mixes with the real world, offering flawless per-pixel depth and covering the entire field of view for maximum immersion.

With Distance, just look through a window or any transparent surface in your car or on a plane– and experience the next generation of mixed reality.

This integration brings together the synthetic and real worlds into a seamless whole, designed to blend naturally into our daily journeys – all without the need for bulky headsets or other wearable hardware.

Glasses-free XR, often regarded as the "Holy Grail" for the XR industry, allows content, data, or alphanumeric information to be seamlessly integrated into any view, whether through a window, windshield, or cockpit.

This technology can display a variety of situational analyses and location-specific information in a way that appears entirely natural and in-context. The hardware behind this innovation connects to a broad array of AI language models and search engines, enabling what is called "Contextual AI." This marks a significant advancement in the XR experience, making it accessible to a mainstream audience.

A select group will have the opportunity to see this technology first-hand at the AWE 2024. Others interested in viewing can find demo videos at www.distance.tech and here.

Backing Finland

We’re actively investing in next era of computing across Europe, with strategic focus areas including Finland and the UK.

Following last week’s announcement of our investment in Flow Computing, Distance is another company born out of Finland’s roots in tech innovation.

Finland remains at the heart of XR with its talent base and rich heritage in sectors like gaming, communications, optics and photonics.

At its peak, Nokia, Finland’s mobile giant, accounted for 4% of the nation’s GDP and dominated over 40% of the global mobile phone market.

Despite the decline of this mobile powerhouse, it left behind a concentrated pool of top-tier European talent experienced in both hardware and software solutions. Many of these skilled professionals went on to play significant roles in renowned gaming companies like Rovio and Supercell, and we are seeing lots of that talent decided they want to revolutionise other areas of the technology industry.

Thanks for reading! If you are working on a startup, or investing yourself across any of these themes we would love to hear from you! Contact us on LinkedIn and submit details here