RDIF jointly invests alongside leading sovereign wealth funds and companies in Way Ray
Zurich, September 18, 2018 — The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), the sovereign wealth fund of Russia, and a consortium of sovereign wealth funds (among them the Russia-Japan Investment Fund, launched by RDIF and the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC)) lead by RDIF, have invested in WayRay, a leader of holographic AR displays for cars. Alongside RDIF, Hyundai Motor, Alibaba Group, China Merchants Capital and JVCKENWOOD, also invested in the project, with Porsche acting as the lead investor. The funds raised, which total $80 million, will bolster the company’s focus on R&D, industrialization and team expansion to become a supplier of holographic AR solutions for car manufacturers.
Since its inception in 2012, WayRay has raised more than $100 million. By the end of 2019, the company aims to get a $1 billion valuation. The investments will help to diversify WayRay’s portfolio of applications in different sectors — from AR in transportation to AR smart glass in the smart home business and construction industry.
Kirill Dmitriev, CEO of the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), noted:
“RDIF’s investments in the creation of high-quality infrastructure and digitalization of the transport system are aimed at the improvement of road safety in Russia and are seen to support the development of advanced technologies in the country that fully comply with the goals of the national project “Safe and high-quality auto-roads”. The use of holographic navigation systems will not only reduce accident rates, but also make roads in Russia’s regions safer and more convenient, providing additional stimulus for regional development. At the same time, we support Russian technologies and innovations that will also help WayRay to achieve a leading position in the global market.”
Vitaly Ponomarev, CEO of WayRay, said:
“As a deep-tech company, we are committed to creating fundamental innovations that bring us far beyond holographic AR displays and new interfaces. A growing number of projects with carmakers and strong investors are fueling the company’s growth and boosting our confidence in implementing complex innovations. We are proud to be recognized as a reliable partner able to meet the high standards set by investors like Porsche and Hyundai.”
Lutz Meschke, Deputy Chairman of the Executive Board and Member of the Executive Board for Finance and IT at Porsche, said:
“The WayRay team has unique expertise with a solid background in space engineering, hardware and software development. Their innovative ideas and products have great potential. We are convinced that on this basis we’ll be able to offer our clients customized Porsche solutions. That is why we have made this strategic investment decision.”
Dr. Youngcho Chi, Chief Innovation Officer and Executive Vice President of Hyundai Motor Group, said:
“WayRay has remarkable expertise in both hardware and software development for holographic AR display systems. The Hyundai–WayRay collaboration will help us establish a brand new eco-system that harnesses AR technology to enhance not only navigation systems but establish an AR platform for smart cities and smart buildings, which are Hyundai Motor Group’s new business interests, in the long term, providing innovative customer experiences to our drivers.”
Russia-Japan Investment Fund was established to pursue and implement attractive investment projects to promote economic, trade and investment cooperation between Japan and Russia. Priority sectors identified for cooperation include healthcare, development of smart cities and sustainable technologies, energy, cutting-edge technologies and developing industries and export in the Russian Far Eastern District, as well as other initiatives that will strengthen the trade and economic relations between the two countries. Further information can be found at www.rjif.org
Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) is Russia's sovereign wealth fund established in 2011 to make equity co-investments, primarily in Russia, alongside reputable international financial and strategic investors. RDIF acts as a catalyst for direct investment in the Russian economy. RDIF’s management company is based in Moscow. Further information can be found at rdif.ru
Founded in 2012, WayRay is a holographic AR technology company headquartered in Zurich. In keeping the full R&D process under control — from product concept to prototype testing — WayRay has morphed from a startup into a full-cycle manufacturer of holographic optical systems, hardware, and software.
With more than 250 professionals employed globally, WayRay has offices in Switzerland, USA, China, Russia, and is now establishing a factory in Germany.
WayRay’s solutions for the automotive industry include Navion, the first-ever aftermarket holographic AR navigation system; the embedded Holographic AR Display, a built-in solution for carmakers; the True AR SDK for developers to create AR apps for cars; and Element, a gamified car tracker for smarter driving. In the last few years, WayRay has carried out successful projects with a number of car manufacturers.
WayRay’s holographic AR solutions create a true augmented reality experience, where virtual objects are seamlessly integrated into the world around the car. Compared to the conventional HUDs (head-up displays) available on the market, WayRay’s technology boasts a smaller projection system that can be installed in almost any car model. Its exceedingly wide field of view allows for displaying more virtual objects at a comfortable distance for drivers’ eyes. There are currently no other technologies capable of matching those parameters. Another key competitive advantage of WayRay’s solutions is the customizability for both drivers and passengers, conventional vehicles and self-driving cars, consumers (aftermarket) and businesses (OEMs).
Official hashtags: #HolographicAR and #ARforCars
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Russian Direct Investment Fund
Tel: +7 495 644 34 14, ext. 2395
Mobile: +7 916 110 31 41
Andrew Hayes / Andrew Leach
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7796 4133