UK tech ‘unicorn’ files for administration

A UK tech ‘unicorn’ has collapsed into administration after failing to secure additional investment.

Blippar, which specialises in augmented reality technology, claimed to have earned ‘unicorn’ status in March 2015 – meaning it had a market value of more than $1 billion.

However, shareholders announced their intention to place the company into administration on Tuesday this week.

A statement published on the company’s website confirmed that its services would come to an end and all of its staff would be let go.

Meanwhile, a post on its Twitter feed read: “We’re saddened to announce that Blippar has gone into administration today.

“We’re eternally grateful to all our team members, customers, partners, our board and investors who have been with us on this incredible journey

“This is an incredibly sad, disappointing and unfortunate outcome.”

It is believed that the tech firm was in dispute with one of its investors and failed to reach a deal which would have given Blippar more time to return to profit.

Administrators said they are now “exploring all possible options for the future of the business for the benefit of all Stakeholders”.

Blippar, co-founded by entrepreneur Ambarish Mitra in 2011, had raised funds from major investors including Qualcomm and a Malaysian sovereign wealth fund and at one point amassed a team of more than 300 staff members.

However, bringing its augmented reality technology to market proved something of a lost cause after few corporate customers saw value in their products.

According to its latest accounts, Blippar lost £35m in the 12 months to March 2017 and brought in just £5m.

The company’s sudden collapse proves that any business is vulnerable to financial pressures – even those with mythical status.

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