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Augmented Reality Firm Upskill Gets $17.2M in Investment

Upskill, an Augmented Reality Firm, has raised $17.2 million in investment from Accenture and Cisco Investments, Boeing HorizonX, GE Ventures, New Enterprise Associates (NEA), and other industrial-focused investors.

A company press note indicated that Upskill has grown its multinational client base by more than 300 percent a very short time. Last year Upskill introduced a new release of its Skylight AR platform. This added self-service AR workflow creation and data integration feature to the platform.

Companies use Skylight on smart glasses to increase productivity, cut costs and reduce errors across their operations.

“We are ramping up our use of Skylight and wearables inside our operations. Boeing is seeing multiple aircraft manufacturing lines benefit from the solution, and we now want to introduce AR into the services part of our business so we may service our own, and third-party products, for our end-customers,” said Ted Colbert, CIO of The Boeing Company and SVP of Information Technology & Data Analytics.

“Upskill’s augmented reality platform for smart glasses has enabled greater efficiencies in Ryder’s warehouses—from saving time and improving accuracy, to streamlining the jobs of hands-on warehouse personnel,” said Gary Allen, Vice President of Supply Chain Excellence, Ryder. “The use of wearable, hands-free technology powered by Skylight has decreased the time it takes to pick and scan inventory while improving efficiency. At Ryder, we’re all about investing in technologies that ensure safety and reliability, as well as improved productivity, visibility, and customer service levels.”

“As we continue to invest heavily in our infrastructure to help our customers to connect, our ability to service and maintain network performance is critical to the success of our business,” said Sanjay Rai, General Manager, Strategy and Productivity, Telstra Network Construction & Services. “We believe that trialing Upskill’s Skylight platform for our AR pilot program will allow us to test Upskill’s new technology as a way to connect our field technicians to network equipment in ways we couldn’t before, and potentially contribute to improving productivity and driving down costs.”

This investment indicated increasing importance of AR technology in the market, the connected worker and the Internet of Things ecosystem.

“We saw substantial growth in the last year further amplified by the launch of our new product release. That acceleration is what led our investors to participate in this new funding round,” said Brian Ballard, co-founder and CEO, Upskill.

“Wearables are emerging as a new category of ‘things’ enabling real-time worker connectivity and collaboration in industrial environments. Adoption of AR-enabled smart glasses, in particular, has reached an inflection point,” said Rob Salvagno, Head of Corporate Development and Cisco Investments.

Upskill and Accenture also announced today the formation of a strategic alliance which will help Accenture further expand the capabilities of the Accenture Extended Reality and Accenture Industry X.0 groups.

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