Light-field display and “mixed reality” startup Avegant laid off a significant portion of its staff in recent weeks, and also replaced its CEO with one of the company founders, according to people familiar with the company’s operations.
Avegant’s headcount was reduced last month to fewer than 20 people, and those who remain work largely in R&D or on the technology partnership side. Prior to the layoffs, there had been somewhere between 40 and 50 employees, one person said.
Former chief executive officer Jeorg Tewes was also replaced by company founder Ed Tang in February, these people said, a change that also appears in both executives’ LinkedIn profiles.
When reached by phone, Tang declined to comment on the company’s organizational changes, but did confirm the CEO appointment. He also said that the company’s mission hasn’t changed, and that it’s in the process of closing a $10 million funding round to work on the next generation of its technology.
Last year, The Verge profiled Avegant’s efforts in light-field display technology, which involved a reference design of a headset that projected digital objects in front of the person wearing the headset. The prototype we saw was tethered to a computer, but Avegant had actively been working on reducing the compute power needed for the technology, which would mean, in the future, making an AR headset that was not tethered and was therefore more mobile.
Avegant made clear at the time that it was not planning to sell its headsets directly to consumers – unlike its first product, the Avegant Glyph – and instead said it was partnering with larger hardware makers to sell its technology. The status of those partnerships is unclear.
Avegant’s social media accounts have also been notably quiet, with the last public-facing updates from the company shared in January.
The Bay Area-based company company was first founded in 2012 and has raised more than $50 million in funding.