VANCOUVER, British Columbia, June 11, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Zadar Ventures Ltd. (the “Company”) (TSX.V – ZAD) (OTCQB – ZADDF) (Frankfurt – ZAV0.F) announces that it has completed its due diligence on French AR/VR company, XRApplied SAS, and intends to enter into a definitive agreement by the end of June 2020. XRApplied, based in Sarlat-la-Canéda, France, is a leader in the development and deployment of AR/VR/MR technologies and assets like AR/VR games and AR/VR Apps. As previously announced, Zadar continues to work with the team at the UNIQORN incubator-accelerator to complete the transaction.
The Company has developed a unique solution that removes the barrier to entry for XR and enables businesses and clients to build an engaging brand experience across multiple platforms at an affordable cost. Businesses in any vertical can now engage customers, employees, and clients across any platform with engaging interactive AR and VR content. This means that a business can leverage one single set of assets to build unique e-commerce platforms, presentations, training applications, games, and more – in AR /VR.
UNIQORN’s mission is to give entrepreneurs and their families their lives back while helping them build game-changing technologies. Companies are provided a complete ecosystem for success, with direct access to proven funding sources, top-notch legal and accounting representation, access to the world’s most generous business incentives and a dedicated sales and marketing accelerator. Company Chairman Mark Tommasi states, “We are thrilled to be moving forward with the merger in a time (post Covid-19) when AR/VR/MR technologies are disrupting every industry as we know it, and we strongly believe that we have found the right team and project to position us in this market. We are looking forward to launching a series of game changing business application and consumer games in the AR/VR/MR space over the coming months.” The Company advises that the transaction will require regulatory and shareholder approval, and there is no assurance that the transaction will close. Once a definitive agreement is entered into, the Company will file all the necessary documents for approval of a change of business.
ON BEHALF OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS Mark Tommasi Chairman Image by FunkyFocus via Pixabay
Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Service Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release. This press release may contain certain forward-looking information. All statements included herein, other than statements of historical fact, forward-looking information and such information involves various risks and uncertainties. There can be no assurance that such information will prove to be accurate, and actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such information. Specifically, there is no assurance the Company will be able to negotiate a definitive agreement to acquire XRApplied, and even if a definitive agreement is entered into, there is no assurance the Company will be able to (i) raise the necessary funds to close the transaction, (ii) obtain either regulatory or shareholders’ approval, or (iii) satisfy all conditions and close the transaction. The Company does not undertake to update any forward-looking information except in accordance with applicable securities laws.
In 2020, extended reality (XR) technologies are poised to gain momentum—from rapid consumer adoption to evolution in use and development. Big data, smart tech, and supercomputing now have to share the space with XR, where virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and mixed reality (MR) all combine to enhance human experience like we’ve never seen before. On the scene is XRApplied, the startup to watch, whose partnership with rural accelerator-incubator UNIQORN empowers it to become one of a handful of first movers in this emerging sector. Through UNIQORN’s post-proof-of-concept business acceleration strategy, XRApplied is gearing up for more investor interest, as well as practical adoption of its tech by a wider audience.
This is just the beginning, as experts point out that the AR/VR industry will continue to grow to a staggering $30 billion by 2030. France was quick to identify this opportunity, and has introduced a series of incentives over the last few years to foster investments and bring new startups to the country. And what better home for XRApplied than the picturesque Sarlat-la-Canéda, where UNIQORN is based and ready to help create the best environment for the startup to thrive.
As an incubator-accelerator, UNIQORN has the expertise and capability to foster stakeholder support and community awareness for tech startups like XRApplied, who can contribute to the innovation ecosystem, not just of Sarlat but of France, too, as a whole. In the case of XR technology, it is slowly starting to capture the attention and imagination of developers, creators, and other talent. In fact, the continuing demand for AR/VR engineers has increased the barrier to entry and driven up costs for new companies, a problem XRApplied can help solve.
XRApplied will bring AR, VR and MR into the mainstream
There is one reason that companies have yet to embrace extended reality, barrier to entry. AR and VR developers are amongst the most in-demand professions today, and building an app is complicated and hugely expensive. If this situation persists, widespread adoption of AR and VR technologies will be minimal. XRApplied is the first company to make real strides in closing this gap. Rather than focusing on creating more affordable hardware, something that Facebook has in hand, XRApplied is making it easier to create engaging AR applications by producing the first true Extended Reality SDK. The company’s solution can be applied across any system, whether VR or AR, and any vertical.
XRApplied to: Digital catalogs
Imagine the future of marketing where paper product catalogs come to life, as the flat representations become their 3D digital counterparts. Among statistics that grow and form charts around you, with relevant information being displayed in an attractive form, wouldn’t you be swayed to reach for such an offer?
A BRP report indicated that almost half of consumers would be likely to buy from a retailer that provides these kinds of experiences. Currently only 15% are making use of it, creating a vast gap in the market, that can be filled with the solutions to the likes of those offered by XRApplied.
XRApplied has made a digital catalogue simple by creating an XR e-commerce platform. This would allow assets to be seamlessly shared across AR and VR platforms, hugely increasing a company’s reach and allowing them to revolutionize their supply chains and sales pipeline.
XRApplied to: Smart toys
The car manufacturer Hyundai has a proven track record of using AR along with their products. AR breathed a new life into their assistance technologies, where users can point their smartphones at a car to discover details about its inner workings and potential issues.
Now, move back in time a bit and think how cool it would be to take your favorite toy again in your hand only to discover that it has a whole new array of features, introduced exclusively by extended reality.
With XRApplied solutions, you can create a new layer of interaction with the products in your portfolio. Communicate with digital-savvy kids of today and enhance their experience with a companion app to create a deeper, more engaging and lasting relationship. Toys as we know them are about to extend their depth. Companies able to capitalize on this will put themselves at a significant advantage compared to competitors. XRApplied will provide the tools they need to do so.
XRApplied to: Your dream house
Everyone has been there at least once. You’re just about to make a major change to your apartment or a house—whether it is putting a new couch or repainting the living room. But the fear of making a wrong choice holds you back. Just as it held many people before, isolating them from the potential distributors.
To face that issue in an innovative way, the Swedish furniture maker IKEA announced a launch of an AR app called IKEA Place, which will allow its customers to digitally place selected products around their households before they make the decision.
IKEA provides a glimpse into the future, where renovation-ready consumers will slide their HMDs on and gain the power to change virtually anything in their surroundings with a touch of a button. Imagine scrolling through dozens of different curtains, furniture and appliances in real time, positioned just as you like it. Not only will you be able to visualize that amazing new flooring within seconds, but you’ll be able to order the exact product you’ll be looking at. There is no end to the scale of digital visualizations. With XRApplied solutions, an empty parcel could host your dream house, which you’ll be able to enter and start arranging the interior. In the world of real estate, there is still a lot of guesswork involved and the introduction of extended reality is going to be a real breakthrough in this industry.
On the way to becoming a unicorn
These impressive technological advancements stem in part from the active support which XRApplied is receiving from UNIQORN—a unique rural startup incubator, which invites inspiring businesses to Sarlat in central France, where complex ideas grow in idyllic conditions.
Without traffic, pollution and the rapid pace of modern cities, Sarlat provides an optimal environment to focus on developing a balanced structure and a product portfolio that will sway the masses. With the help of seasoned experts from UNIQORN, startups enjoy not only a favorable economic setting, but also insightful advice that has already spawned more than seven million sales leads.
The secret sauce behind France’s attractiveness
Wine, cheese, and the Eiffel Tower—France has done quite a good job with national branding, as it’s one of the most recognizable states in the modern world. Yet only a select few entrepreneurs know that France is also a haven for some of the world’s most promising technological startups.
Being the fifth largest economy in the world, France has a long history of running successful businesses. Lately there has been a lot of growth as the country started to offer an attractive environment for foreign companies, with a strong focus on R&D and technology.
Most of that momentum is attributed to the state’s young and energetic president, Emmanuel Macron. Being an ex-investment banker, Macron made a point of promoting France as an attractive destination for businesses of all sizes. All to prepare the country to compete with Silicon Valley in the near future.
So far, small businesses have been freed from the requirement of holding a minimum of 25% equity, and reduction of corporate tax rate to 25% is well on the way. In effect, the percentage of American investors being positive about their economic future in France is on a steady rise, and foreign investments grow by remarkable numbers each year.
These incentives have brought some sophisticated technological startups to the country, including pioneers that make a name for themselves in the field of extended reality. Having a chance of taking the digital world a step further, are those companies going to spark yet another revolution on the French soil?
Get ready to extend your reality
Still wondering if XR here to stay? According to Allied Market Research, this subset of the technological industry can grow to as much as $5.4 billion within the next four years. With developers creating more meaningful applications as we speak, and the technology being perfected, the world around us is going to establish a new, exciting layer.
We’re in the early days of XR, and many solutions are still less-than-perfect. But every novel concept needs time to mature. After all, the world was full of people who doubted the success of personal computers or downplayed the role of cellphones. With angel investments expected to top $250 billion within the next five years, rest assured that there will be enough funding to get the XR wagon going.
The revolution is on the way—and France is once again setting standards. This time there will be no barricades. XR is going to connect the world in a way we’ve never known before—and the center of this new world will be France, UNIQORN and XRApplied.
XRApplied’s mission is to revolutionize the way we do business. By applying cutting-edge AR, VR, and MR technologies to current business models, all industries can increase efficiency ratios, gain a better understanding of customers and cut costs.
XR (extended reality) is a term referring to all real-and-virtual combined environments and human-machine interactions generated by computer technology and wearables, where the ‘X’ represents a variable for any current or future spatial computing technologies. It includes representative forms such as augmented reality (AR), mixed reality (MR) and virtual reality (VR) and the areas interpolated among them. The levels of virtuality range from partially sensory inputs to immersive virtuality, also called VR.
Aleksey Andreychenko, co-founder of XRApplied stated: “We are extremely excited about being accepted into UNIQORN’s groundbreaking incubation and acceleration program. We have been working with Dom Einhorn and his team on countless projects for the past 15 years, and we feel confident that we have chosen the perfect partner to help us grow and thrive.”
Jean Vignon, UNIQORN’S co-founder and CFO, issued the following statement: “XRApplied is a perfect candidate for incubation and acceleration. The young company shows the exact anatomy of what we are seeking from candidates here at UNIQORN: proof of concept, early client and revenue traction (including from some major brand names) along with the ability to be able to convince investors besides us. We look forward to being XRApplied’s long-term strategic partner.”
UNIQORN recently made headlines for its innovative incubation and acceleration programs, which put a heavy emphasis on post-PoC (proof-of-concept) business acceleration strategies that leverage a unique customer acquisition platform called “Mobcast” along with more traditional, tried and trusted public relations and investor relations initiatives.
UNIQORN is the largest rural incubator-accelerator of its kind in the world. Located in southwestern France (Sarlat-la-Canéda), its mission is to give entrepreneurs and their families their lives back while helping them build game-changing technology startups. Startups are provided a complete ecosystem for success, with direct access to proven funding sources, top-notch legal and accounting representation, access to the world’s most generous business incentives and, most importantly, a dedicated sales and marketing accelerator that will put a startup’s product or service on the fast track to success.
While the coronavirus (COVID-19) and its psychological impact ripple across every continent in a never-before-seen craze and panic, it is fair to assume that trillion-dollar industries like travel or event management and event planning will never be the same again. But the AR/VR/MR industry stands to massively benefit from cultural and economic anxiety for years to come.
First, let’s state the obvious: the augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and mixed reality (MR) industry—often referred to as “XR” or extended reality—has been on a tear since long before the spread of the coronavirus, hitting new high notes in late 2019 and early 2020. The installed base of ARCore-compatible Android devices, for example, grew from 250 million devices in December 2018 to 400 million in May 2019.
Meanwhile, 2017 heralded the Cambrian explosion of the AR world, with the introduction of easy-to-use software development kits from both Apple (called ARKit) and Google (called ARCore). And, based on a Forrester report, it is estimated that 14 million American workers are expected to use smart glasses regularly at their jobs by 2025.
A picture often speaks a thousand words. Here is a compelling visual representation that illustrates the growing demand for engineering talent across a variety of fields. Note how the demand for AR/VR engineers dwarfs the second-highest in-demand field by almost 10-1:
Experts predict the AR/VR industry to reach more than $25 billion by 2025—and that growth is likely to continue steadily beyond the mid-2020s. But the COVID-19 outbreak was the type of black swan effect no one in the industry expected, and it is the type of game-changing event that could propel an already fierce industry further into the spotlight.
AR/VR industry provides haven for skittish investors
On March 11, the National Basketball Association suspended its season indefinitely. At the same time, Twitter employees have started working from home. School systems have also shut down in France, and pretty much everywhere else. Sources at high-profile companies are telling journalists that important, deal-making conferences are being canceled. Startups are having trouble accessing capital, as trips are postponed. Venture capitalists and angel investors are increasingly skittish to invest.
This is the environment we are in—it sounds scary because it is. There is no way to sugarcoat the obvious.
According to EvercoreISI, “…a number of investors note that they are shocked that we haven’t heard anything from the Fed. We only pass this along to highlight how investors are looking for someone, anyone, to be a leader. Maybe what the Fed does is not enough, but if they came out guns blazing and showed leadership (by saying they will do everything they can), that might help.” So is there any light at the end of this long, dark tunnel? The answer appears to be a resounding yes.
While medical experts are busy tackling the underlying health issues of COVID-19, a number of tech experts predict that the AR/VR industry is about to dramatically reshape and redefine the travel and event industry.
HTC was fast to react to the current situation by hosting the first fully virtual industry conference. The HTC Vive Ecosystem Conference (VEC), usually held in Shenzhen, China, opted for a virtual reality conference instead this year.
A recent Forbes article stressed the advantages inherent to VR conferencing: “There are many benefits to hosting a conference in VR. These include the possible removal of attendance limits on keynote talks, the option to replay sessions that may have been missed, and zero travel-saving costs and the planet. With the coronavirus situation changing daily, it’s definitely a medium that can help connect people, without risks.” The first conference to go was Mobile World Congress. Next came Adobe Summit. Then Facebook F8. Within weeks, Google had canceled its annual developer conference, Google I/O, and Google Cloud Next.
Businesses turn to online solutions for physical events
The countless travel and event restrictions have witnessed a flurry of companies (especially startups) rushing to try to re-create the missed experiences—this time online. One such company is France-based XRApplied, a young and innovative company busily working on applying XR technologies towards the resolution of problems that ail specific industries and market sectors, as well as consumers as a whole. The company recently joined UNIQORN, France’s largest rural incubator-accelerator, in an effort to speed up the market penetration of its product and service suite.
Bringing tangible answers to the table is nothing to sneeze at. The business events industry alone is worth $1.5 trillion a year per a recent EIC study.
According to the report, “…business events generated $621.4 billion (U.S.) of direct gross domestic product (GDP) and contributed a total global GDP impact of $1.5 trillion.” WIRED also reported that one study from MIT found that scientific collaborations that came out of conference meetings were “more novel, cross-disciplinary and more frequently cited than projects between two researchers in the same institution.”
As history has shown over and over, it’s during recessions and hard times that startups shine, bringing forth long-term solutions to problems we as humans did not even know we had, at least prior to black-swan events like COVID-19. The coronavirus is expected to have a significant impact on location-based VR operations like The VOID, Dreamscape, Zero Latency, and Hologate. Moreover, “social VR” is expected to take off faster than Elon Musk’s giant rockets. If you ever needed to brace yourself for a brave new world, today is the day.
UNIQORN, the largest rural accelerator-incubator of its kind, held a two day showcase of AR and VR technology between the 27th and 28th of February. The event took place in the company’s offices in Sarlat-la-Canéda. It consisted of demonstrations by two leading XR technology startups and talks by the founder & CEO Dominique Einhorn. The event was covered by French television station FR3.
Following on from the incubator’s debut at the WBAIF, UNIQORN brought together two rising stars from the Virtual & Augmented reality world. These companies have signed on with UNIQORN to find real world uses for cutting edge AR & VR technologies and bring them to market. The XR technology sector is predicted to be worth $393 billion by 2025.
A unique event
A series of demonstrations made by Aleksey Andreychenko and Peter Langer, the founders of XR-Applied and TimeTravel.berlin, respectively. Both founders showcased their groundbreaking technology with public presentations and physical demonstrations.
Aleksey demonstrated his unique portfolio of AR and VR games as well as his company’s longbow controller. Attendees were able to play an archery defense game on both the longbow and while using a VR headset.Peter used a VR headset to take attendees back to the Berlin of the 1920s with an impressive demo. Summit attendees were able to walk the streets of Berlin featuring meticulously reconstructed buildings.
The XR technology startups
XR-Applied is leveraging its extensive AR & VR development experience to build the first SDK for XR technology. The company has already developed a number of exciting games, and novel utilities for the technology and is preparing to bring these products to mass market. During the event they showcased their new technologies.
TimeTravel.berlin is bringing Germany’s roaring 1920s back to life using cutting edge VR to help tourists experience pre-WWII Berlin, before the destruction that ensued. The company has plans to leverage this project and build a new platform for tourism-focused virtual reality experiences in cities around the globe.
The first of many
This event was just the first step in UNIQORN’s journey. The rural incubator-accelerator is busy working with a number of companies in a variety of high-growth industries. The company intends to hold a series of marquee events that will showcase the potential of the Dordogne region – and the city of Sarlat in particular – as a hub for technological disruption.For more information about UNIQORN and its operations please reach out to us at: