Posted on May 31, 2019 by staff

Leading Bristol firm buys Silicon Valley rival for £24m


Bristol-based tech firm Ultrahaptics has acquired its Silicon Valley rival in a deal worth £23.8m.

The firm creates hand-tracking tech which allows hand movements in mid-air to control software much like a mouse or touchscreen.

It will bring over US-based Leap Motion’s staff and technology to the UK and combine its resources.

The pair had been partnered for nearly six years before the strategic deal, which is designed to accelerate innovation and enhance commercial applications.

The UK firm has raised £60m to date for it technology, and Leap Motion has raised $94m for its hand tracking tech.

CEO of Ultrahaptics Steve Cliffe will remain in his position, as will Leap Motion co-founder and CTO David Holz.

Ultrahaptics raised £35m in a funding round late last year, and has raised over £50m since its founding as a spin-off from the University of Bristol in 2013.

Cliffe said the company hopes to support the changes between human and machine interaction that will define the future.

“Together, Ultrahaptics and Leap Motion products have the opportunity to be at the global epicentre of spatial interaction,” he said.

“Taking a holistic view of this exciting market, not only can we continue to create two hugely significant technologies, but we can max out the potential of combining them – proving that one plus one really can make three!”

David Holz, Co-founder and CTO of Leap Motion, added: “We’ve been working with Ultrahaptics for nearly six years. Both companies have an intense passion for deepening the bond between people and technology and together we can reach the true potential of both.

“We’ve been the undisputed leaders in our respective spaces from the beginning and this marks an exciting new era of even greater technologies and more physical, intuitive experiences.”