9. Blippar

Keep on blipping

Founders: Ambarish Mistra, Omar Tayeb, Jess Butcher, Steve Spencer
Launched: 2011
Funding: $126.5 million
Valuation: n/a
Disrupting: Visual recognition, digital, mobile
Rival: Google

If a picture is indeed worth a thousand words, then Blippar is betting an image chock-full of information is worth even more.

The London-based company that launched in 2011 is an augmented reality (AR) firm that allows users to point their smartphone at an object and through the Blippar app, unlock additional information, photos and interactive content about whatever it is they are looking at. So, for instance, when cosmetic brand Maybelline was promoting a new line of nail polish in print magazines, shoppers could scan the ad and virtually try on the different colors of polish through the Blipp app.


The company claims more than 65 million people in 170 countries use the app, and it counts Nestle, Procter & Gamble, Nike and General Mills among its clients. As AR technology evolves, the company has been able to go beyond brands and provide users with rich content on everyday objects. Point your phone and scan an orange, for example, and the Blipp app can tell you nearby grocers where you can purchase them, nutritional value and even give recipes.

"[We] imagined bringing the queen’s head to “life” on a banknote. We saw business potential and opportunity from what started as a joke amongst friends, and from there Blippar was born." -Ambarish Mitra, Blippar Founder & CEO

Investors are bullish on the potential and reach of AR technology and like Blippar's leading position in this space. In March, the company raised an additional $54 million in funding, bringing its total to over $100 million from venture firms Qualcomm, Intel Capital and Sunstone.

Ambarish Mitra, co-founder and CEO of Blippar
Source: Blippar
Ambarish Mitra, co-founder and CEO of Blippar

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