Troubled AR firm Blippar lost £34m last year

Tim Maytom

British augmented reality startup Blippar lost over £34m in the year leading up to 31 March 2017, and has warned investors that it needs to raise more cash in order to stay afloat.

The AR firm, which has attracted considerable buzz in the past, has increasingly pivoted towards computer vision and other ventures, and has shown signs of the trouble in the last year, closing offices in July 2017 and consolidating its US teams.

According to the company's earnings call for the period, it is in talks with strategic investors for new cash, but is yet to agree concrete funding. The firm saw pre-tax losses of £34.5m, compared to revenues of just £5.7m, and has only £10m left in cash reserves.

Due to changes in the way the company reports its finances, it's difficult to establish a comparison with previous years, but recent numbers suggest that the firm has lost more money in a shorter period during recent operations.

Despite raising $26.3m (£19.9m) in March 2017 through loans from existing investors and a further $500,000 from selling shares in another startup, the company is clearly struggling, and was five months late in posting its financial results, with no explanation offered.

On top of the money problems, the firm is facing a shakeup of its leadership. Board member Javier Santiso, who represented the Malaysian government's sovereign wealth fund, stepped down in March, while non-executive board member Doreswamy Nandkishore also resigned earlier this year. The Malaysian fund has proved to be one of Blippar's biggest investors.