Tencent Invests in Optical Waveguide Chip Firm OptiArk Semiconductor

On August 8, OptiArk Semiconductor, a Shenzhen-based optical waveguide system provider, changed its registration with China’s Industrial and Commercial Administration, adding as a new shareholder a venture capital company under Tencent. The new shareholder maintains about 3% of the shares. OptiArk also increased its registered capital to about 3,537,300 yuan ($523,602) and added a new member to the board of directors, Lei Lei.

The company provides semiconductor AR glasses hardware products. According to its official website, the company was founded in January 2020 by AR optics expert Zhu Yisheng together with industry scientists. It is committed to high-end advanced technological development and manufacturing of optical waveguides (diffractive optical chips), optical engines (microprojection modules), optical modules, micro and nano semiconductor materials and processes.

Its shareholders include Beijing Quantum Jump Technology Co., Ltd., a company associated with ByteDance.

Although OptiArk has not been established for a long time, it has completed several rounds of financing. On June 18, 2020, only half a year after establishment, OptiArk received angel investment. The amount was not disclosed, and the investor was Jinghua Optoelectronics Technology Company.

On October 26, 2020, OptiArk received a pre-A round of financing. The amount was not disclosed, and the investors were Sequoia China Seed Fund and Casstar.

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Later, OptiArk welcomed in a rush of funds. On May 24, 2021, it received round-A financing. The amount was not disclosed, and investors were Shenzhen HTI Group Co., Ltd., Greater Bay Area Homeland Investments Limited, Times Bole, 37Games Venture Capital Fund, and Strategic Investment Group of ByteDance, among others.

Chinese internet giant Tencent has made frequent investments in AR. In February this year, Beijing Superhexa Technology, a hardware manufacturer focusing on AR glasses development, added Guangxi Tencent Venture Capital Partnership as new shareholder. Relevant information suggests Tencent subscribed 7.326% of shares at a cost of 246,785 yuan.