Lightfield camera firm raises $50 million for focus shift

Lightfield camera firm raises $50 million for focus shift

Business news |
Light field camera startup Lytro Inc. has raised $50 million in venture capital to help it move away from still photography and towards video and virtual reality. At the same time the company is laying off staff, according to reports.
By eeNews Europe

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The implication is that the company’s cameras have not been a great success and that the company’s backers want to shift the company’s focus and catch a next wave of opportunity.

Lightfield photography is also known as plenoptic photography. It uses multiple whole scene and partial scene microlenses to gather information and allows and depth of focus to be adjusted after the picture is taken and theoretically for the a picture to be composed where everything is in focus regardless of the distance from the camera.

Lytro (Mountain View, Calif.) was expected to cut between 25 and 50 people from its 130-person workforce, while looking to hire people with expertise in the new areas of interest to the company.

"We are going to have to make some cuts in some areas so we can staff up in some new one. Fifty million dollars is a nice big number, but it is not unlimited. We had to make some pretty tough decisions," Jason Rosenthal, CEO of Lytro, was reported as saying by publication Re/code.

The funding round was led by GSV Capital and includes participation from all of Lytro’s existing investors along with Allen & Co. and Danhua Capital, the report said.

Lytro was founded in 2006 by Ren Ng. In 2011, Lytro introduced its first generation pocket-sized camera, capable of refocusing images after they have been taken.

Related links and articles:

www.lytro.com

Re/code article

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