8i, an augmented reality startup based out of New Zealand and Los Angeles, is downsizing its employees. This decision will be impacting more than 30 employees. The company has confirmed this news through an email statement sent to Variety, stating that they are going through a restructuring phase which could impact as much as half of its 70-person staff.
“Although we’ve made significant progress, we are continuously challenging our assumptions about where the AR/VR market is headed and how it will develop,” the statement read. “And like any early stage company, we need to be honest with ourselves and our employees about what kind of company we should build and how fast we need to grow. Consequently, we are consulting internally on a proposal for changes to our organization that would align our teams and resources with important core technology initiatives that create the most long-term value. The proposal impacts about half of our full-time positions.”
According to Zealand law, companies which are making any kind of workplace changes have to go through a restructuring process.
8i was formed in 2014, and the startup is famous for its holographic capture technology, which captures 3D holograms of people and other effects that can be used for AR and VR experiences. The company recently was in the limelight due to a number of projects that showed off its technology in various contexts. In the month of March, 8i showcased the “Buzz Aldrin: Cycling pathways to Mars” VR experience at SXSW. In June, the company initiated its Holo AR app for iOS and Android, which could record videos with holograms of Spider-Man.
In their statement, 8i recognized that going ahead they have to focus on core competencies:
“This is incredibly hard as we are saying goodbye to valued members of our team who have helped build 8i into the company it is today,” the company said. “While this is hard, the streamlining of our business is crucial to remaining nimble as we empower our world-class team to continue to deliver industry leading breakthroughs and advance the world’s leading format of volumetric video.”
Time Warner led a funding of $27 million investment in 8i earlier this year, which was supposed to help towards the growth of this startup.