Blippar is a visual discovery app, using augmented reality, machine learning and artificial intelligence to bring the physical world to life through smartphones and wearables. Once the Blippar app is downloaded, people can scan ("blipp") objects they’re curious about and unlock content.
Since launching in the U.K. in 2011, Blippar has partnered with brands and media owners in the world, including Condé Nast, TIME Inc., Unilever, Procter & Gamble, PepsiCo, Nestlé, Heinz, Coca-Cola, Anheuser Busch, L'Oréal, and Jaguar. Blippar has been recognized as one of the fastest growing companies by CNN, CNBC, Forbes and FastCompany.
In June 2014 Blippar acquired Dutch AR player Layar, based in Amsterdam, forming the world's largest AR userbase. The company is currently considered a "unicorn," having a valuation of over $1 billion.
Blippar was ranked Number 9 on CNBC's Top Disruptor List. In January 2016, Blippar was also named on Bloomberg's list of top UK Business Innovators and recognized by Business Insider as one of the most innovative companies in tech.
In 2016 Blippar CEO was named UK Entrepreneur of the Year by Ernst & Young
Blippar was founded in the U.K. in 2011 by Ambarish Mitra (Chief Executive Officer), Omar Tayeb (Chief Technology Officer), Steve Spencer (Chief Experience Officer) and Jessica Butcher (Director). The firm's first U.S. offices opened in New York one year later.
The company launched Blippbuilder, a web-based Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) tool that allows businesses to create their own AR content in September.
Expanding its efforts, Blippar, opened its first Asian office in Delhi, India in February, followed by an Istanbul office.
During the time of Google Glass, Blippar demonstrated their technology on the wearable device in March. This was the first instance of image recognition on the platform at the time. Later on, Blippar introduced games for Glass using image recognition, AR and gesture recognition. In November 2014, the company partnered with Jaguar to launch a multi-platform campaign on both mobile and Google Glass.
In June, Blippar announced that it had acquired Amsterdam-based AR pioneer Layar for an undisclosed amount. At the time, the combined companies totalled 50 million mobile app users, as well as "5,000 brands and publishers and over 100,000 self-publishing partners" in over 175 countries.
In 2015, The firm announced it had raised $45 million in funding from undisclosed investors.
In March 2015, the company unveiled plans to include new "visual search" capabilities in its app, which will allow users to perform a search for information about an object by pointing their mobile device at the object. An early proof-of-concept was shown to work on apples, dogs and cars. The company announced plans to make all American sports logos, English-language music album covers, fiction book covers, DVD cases and movie posters "blippable" by April, 2015.
In May 2015, Blippar was ranked Number 19 on CNBC's Top Disrupter List.
In June 2015, Blippar invested in smart specs company WaveOptics. WaveOptics is developing low-energy lenses that provide a live display for the wearer but can be fitted into ordinary spectacles frames. In October 2015, Blippar's R&D lab launched an educational virtual reality app for Google Cardboard. On October 29, 2015 Blippar announced its acquisition of Binocular, an AR and VR app maker with a focus on Virtual Try-On.
In January 2016, Blippar was named on Bloomberg's list of top UK Business Innovators and recognized by Business Insider as one of the most innovative companies in tech. In March, Blippar announced their Series D Funding Round of $54m, led by Khazanah Nasional Berhad, the strategic investment fund of the Government of Malaysia. The Financial Times named the company one of the best-funded UK start-ups.
In June 2016 Blippar launched Blipparsphere, its proprietary knowledge graph technology. Blipparsphere builds on the company’s existing machine learning and computer vision capabilities to deepen and personalize information about a user’s physical surroundings. The app analyzes the object's characteristics and suggest what that it might be — based on its previous performance of recognizing similar objects — and then offer additional useful information about it from the web.
Fast Company's Most Innovative Company: Augmented Reality
2015 CNBC Disruptor 50
Bloomberg's Top UK Business Innovators
The 21 most innovative startups by Business Insider
The Innovative App Award – MEFFYS 2014
Top Mobile Innovator – Mobile Entertainment 2014
Bully Award 2014 – Longhorn
Bully Award 2013 – Young Bull
GREAT Tech Award 2013 – Advisors Choice Award
Most Innovative Mobile Tech Award – MWC 2012
LeWeb Award 2012
DBA Design Effectiveness Award: JuiceBurst & Blippar (Gold)
CIM Marketing Excellence Awards 2016: Camelot Christmas Augmented Reality Scratchcards - Finalist
EMA - Summit Emerging Media Award 2015: Blippar & BGM & Energy Quest - Innovator Award