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Exclusive: Scots fund invests in US firm

Par Equity backs US pioneer behind virtual reality headwear

Wearality 1An Edinburgh fund is backing a California-based maker of a revolutionary headset that will bring virtual reality to the consumer market.

Par Equity’s undisclosed support package for Lockheed Martin spin-out Wearality is its first overseas investment and takes it into a sector that is tipped to be part of the next generation of devices.

Wearality produces device like a large pair of spectacles with 150 degree field-of-vision lenses – twice the vision of a cinema screen. A smartphone fits into the device and the viewer is then able to view video in a virtual reality environment.

Because the Wearality Sky glasses are foldable and portable, like normal spectacles, they are expected to be a big hit with consumers who will no longer need a desktop, flat screen TV, or cinema to get the VR experience. The device can also be worn over glasses and can even be clipped to a hat.

Wearality, which is raising money on the Kickstarter platform,  was formed by engineers at Lockheed Martin who developed the technology for the defence and aerospace industries.

Paul Munn, one of the Par Equity team, said: “They are phenomenal. You may be sceptical at first, until you put them on.”

Paul AtkinsonPaul Atkinson (right), founding partner, noted that the deal was a reversal of the normal flow of capital which would see US firms investing in Scotland.

He said: “We are building our international investments, particularly in the US. Many have a connection to Scotland and it was one of our international investors who brought this opportunity to us.”

Speaking to Daily Business ahead of a reception for clients and other stakeholders at the National Galleries, he said it had been a very good year.

The company, whose investments include the shopping app Mallzee, is also raising money for itself in order to increase the team from seven to 14.




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