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Meta buys smart lensmaker Luxexcel to further AR ambitions

The social media giant throws more money at the metaverse.
The logo of Meta Platforms' business group is seen in Brussels, Belgium December 6, 2022. REUTERS/Yves Herman
Yves Herman / reuters
Igor Bonifacic
Igor Bonifacic|@igorbonifacic|December 31, 2022 12:06 PM

Facebook parent company Meta has acquired Luxexcel, a Dutch startup specializing in smart eyewear. News of the purchase was first reported by De Tijd and later confirmed by TechCrunch. “We’re excited that the Luxexcel team has joined Meta, deepening the existing partnership between the two companies,” a Meta spokesperson told the outlet. The company did not disclose the financial terms of the deal.

Founded in 2009, Luxexcel began life as a prescription lens manufacturer. More recently, the company has made a name for itself in the augmented reality space. At the start of 2021, for instance, it partnered with WaveOptics, the display manufacturer Snap paid $500 million later that same year to buy. As TechCrunch points out, there are also rumors Luxexcel previously worked with Meta on the company’s Project Aria AR glasses.

The acquisition comes as Meta faces regulatory scrutiny from the Federal Trade Commission over its purchase of Supernatural developer Within. The agency sued Meta in July to block the deal. The social media giant also faces criticism over just how much it's spending to further its metaverse ambitions. In October, a month before the company laid off 11,000 employees, Meta told investors Reality Labs, its virtual and augmented reality unit, lost more than $9 billion in 2022. It went on to predict the division’s operating losses were likely to “grow significantly year-over-year” in 2023.

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Meta buys smart lensmaker Luxexcel to further AR ambitions