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Mike Lynch invests in augmented reality start-up built by former HP employees

The Autonomy founder sold his business to HP in 2011 for billions

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Mike Lynch, founder of the Autonomy software business that was sold to HP for $11 billion (£6 billion) in October 2011, has invested an undisclosed sum in a new augmented reality app, called Taggar.

Augmented reality apps have the ability to overlay relevant information on top of real-world backgrounds on the screen of devices such as mobile phones or through wearable tech products such as Google Glass.

Indeed, Taggar, built by a team in Cambridge, allows people to share video and other content they have tagged to objects in the real world, said Lynch on Friday. 

“We are positioning ourselves for the advent of wearable devices, when we see the virtual and physical worlds completely meld together,” he added.

Richard Holway, chairman of analyst house TechMarketView, said: “We believe that we are on the cusp of the era of wearable computing. Augmented reality will one of the key ingredients of making that happen; making it really useful.

"I can imagine going shopping and my camera recognising an item I am about to buy and telling me I could buy it cheaper elsewhere. Maybe even a doctor looking at an X ray scan and getting an immediate diagnosis."

But augmented reality isn’t new and Lynch is one person that is particularly familiar with the technology. 

According to the BBC, the team behind Taggar is made up of the same people who built Aurasma, the augmented reality app made by Autonomy and acquired by HP along with the rest of the company.

The Aurasma engineers left HP following the takeover to set up their own business, and then approached Invoke Capital in the hope of securing funding.

But Lynch, who is in a bitter law suit with HP over alleged accounting fraud at Autonomy, claims that the Taggar team have created a completely new cloud-based system from scratch, without drawing on any of the intellectual property that was sold to HP. 

The investment is being made through Lynch’s Invoke Capital Fund, which made its first investment in a Cambridge security company in September and prides itself on being the only investment team in Europe with a dedicated, in-house R&D division.

The launch of Taggar coincided with the third anniversary of London's Tech City, a government-backed initiative to create a cluster of tech business in the capital.


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