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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.[1] Once the Blippar app is downloaded, people can scan ("blipp") objects they’re curious about and unlock content.

Founders Ambarish Mitra (CEO), Omar Tayeb (CTO), Steve Spencer (Chief Experience Officer), Jessica Butcher (Director)
Founded in London (UK) in 2011
Office Locations London (UK), New York (USA), San Francisco (USA), Mountain View (USA), Tokyo (Japan), Istanbul (Turkey), New Delhi (India), Bangalore (India), Singapore (Asia)
Number of employees 250+
Number of locations 11
Products Blippar app for iOS / Android / Blippbuilder
Subsidiaries Layar, Binocular

Since launching in the U.K. in 2011, Blippar has partnered with brands and media owners in the world, including Condé Nast,[2] TIME Inc.,[3] Unilever,[4] Procter & Gamble,[5] PepsiCo,[6] Nestlé,[7] Heinz,[8] Coca-Cola,[9] Anheuser Busch,[10] L'Oréal,[11] and Jaguar.[12] Blippar has been recognized as one of the fastest growing companies by CNN,[13] CNBC,[14] Forbes[15] and FastCompany.[16]

In June 2014 Blippar acquired[17] Dutch AR player Layar, based in Amsterdam, forming the world's largest AR userbase.[18] The company is currently considered a "unicorn," having a valuation of over $1 billion.[19]

Blippar was ranked Number 9 on CNBC's Top Disruptor List.[20] 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.[21][22]

In 2016 Blippar CEO was named UK Entrepreneur of the Year by Ernst & Young [23]



2011-2012: Founding and LaunchEdit

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.[24]

2013: SaaS tool Blippbuilder Launch, and International ExpansionEdit

The company launched Blippbuilder, a web-based Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) tool that allows businesses to create their own AR content in September.[25]

Expanding its efforts, Blippar, opened its first Asian office in Delhi, India in February,[26] followed by an Istanbul office.[27]

2014: Google Glass Developments & Layar AcquisitionEdit

During the time of Google Glass, Blippar demonstrated their technology on the wearable device in March.[28] This was the first instance of image recognition on the platform at the time.[29][30] Later on, Blippar introduced games for Glass using image recognition, AR and gesture recognition.[31][32][33] In November 2014, the company partnered with Jaguar to launch a multi-platform campaign on both mobile and Google Glass.[34][35]

In June, Blippar announced that it had acquired Amsterdam-based AR pioneer Layar for an undisclosed amount.[36] 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.[37]

2015-2016: Visual Search Launch and AcquisitionsEdit

In 2015, The firm announced it had raised $45 million in funding from undisclosed investors.[38]

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.[39] An early proof-of-concept was shown to work on apples, dogs[40] and cars.[41] 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.[42]

In May 2015, Blippar was ranked Number 19 on CNBC's Top Disrupter List.[43]

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.[44] In October 2015, Blippar's R&D lab launched an educational virtual reality app for Google Cardboard. [45] On October 29, 2015 Blippar announced its acquisition of Binocular, an AR and VR app maker with a focus on Virtual Try-On.[46]

2016-Present Day: Knowledge Graph & AR Creation ToolsEdit

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.[47][48] 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.[49][50][51] The Financial Times named the company one of the best-funded UK start-ups. [52]

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.[53] 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.[54]

In November 2016, Blippar launched its self-service suite of AR creation tools. This is the first time that Blippar has made its technology publicly available to developers and others, letting them tap into Blippar’s Computer Vision API and attach their own augmented reality experiences to real-world objects.[55] The Blippbuilder Augmented Reality Suite comes with both drag-and-drop options for marketers and designers (who don’t have coding experience) as well as a JavaScript option for developers who wish to write out their own code.[56]

In January 2017, Blippar posted a loss of 25.8 million pounds ($31.3 million) for the 16 months to March 31, 2016, up from losses of 5 million pounds for a slightly shorter period of 12 months to Nov. 30, 2014[57]

Awards and recognitionEdit

  • 2016 CNBC Disruptor 50[58]
  • Fast Company's Most Innovative Company: Augmented Reality[59]
  • 2015 CNBC Disruptor 50[60]
  • Bloomberg's Top UK Business Innovators[61]
  • The 21 most innovative startups by Business Insider [62]
  • The Innovative App Award – MEFFYS 2014[63]
  • Top Mobile Innovator – Mobile Entertainment 2014[64]
  • Bully Award 2014 – Longhorn[65]
  • Bully Award 2013 – Young Bull[66]
  • GREAT Tech Award 2013 – Advisors Choice Award[67]
  • Most Innovative Mobile Tech Award – MWC 2012[68]
  • LeWeb Award 2012[69]
  • DBA Design Effectiveness Award: JuiceBurst & Blippar (Gold)[70]
  • CIM Marketing Excellence Awards 2016: Camelot Christmas Augmented Reality Scratchcards - Finalist[71]
  • EMA - Summit Emerging Media Award 2015: Blippar & BGM & Energy Quest - Innovator Award[72]


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  3. ^ "TIME Inc.". 
  4. ^ "Unilever". 
  5. ^ "P&’s CoverGirl simplifies skincare discovery with augmented reality". 
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  7. ^ "Nestlé". 
  8. ^ "Heinz". 
  9. ^ "Coca-Cola". 
  10. ^ "Anheuser Busch". 
  11. ^ "L'Oréal". 
  12. ^ "Jaguar". 
  13. ^ "CNN". 
  14. ^ "CNBC". 
  15. ^ "Forbes". 
  16. ^ "FastCompany". 
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  41. ^ "Blippar app visual overhaul aims to identify everything around you". 
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  44. ^ "Wave Optics". 
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  53. ^ "Blippar’s new knowledge graph tech matches natural human thought patterns". FastCompany. June 9, 2016. 
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  63. ^ "MEF Unveils Winners for the 11th Annual Meffys Awards". 
  64. ^ "Mapp Media Named In UK's Top 50 Mobile Innovators". 
  65. ^ "White Bull". 
  66. ^ "Bully Awards". 
  67. ^ "UK Government Announces Winners Of The GREAT Tech Awards". 
  68. ^ "Blippar "The Most Innovative Mobile Technology" at MWC". 
  69. ^ "LeWeb Award 2012". 
  70. ^ "DBA Design Effectiveness Award: JuiceBurst & Blippar (Gold)". Effective Design. 
  71. ^ "CIM Marketing Excellence Awards 2016: Camelot Christmas Augmented Reality Scratchcards - Finalist". CIM. 
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