Google acquires venture backed North

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By CPE News

CPE News (6/30/2020) – Google has acquired North Inc., the maker of smart glasses, for reportedly US $180 million.

Founded in 2012 by Stephen Lake, Matthew Bailey, and Aaron Grant and formerly Thalmic Labs, North has raised over US $134 million in Seed, Series A and Series B financings and most recently US $40 million in bridge financing in 2019.

Investors included Intel Capital, Amazon Alexa Fund, Fidelity Investments, Spark Capital, First Round Capital, Inovia Capital and others.

photo credit: North


North + Google

We are excited to announce today that North has been acquired by Google.

We founded North (then Thalmic Labs) in 2012 with an optimistic vision for the future in which technology becomes an invisible, helpful part of our everyday experience. Technology seamlessly blended into your world: immediately accessible when you want it, but hidden away when you don’t.

Early on, our focus was on new forms of interaction with Myo, a gesture based input device that directly coupled neuro-muscular impulses into signals computers could understand. We then shifted focus to Focals, our everyday smart glasses with direct retinal projection and prescription compatibility.

Over the last while, it became clear that aligning with Google would significantly advance our shared vision. This acquisition is a terrific fit for North and, importantly, we’re staying here in Kitchener-Waterloo. We’re proud to have grown our company in the Kitchener-Waterloo region and are thankful for the tremendous support we’ve received from the community. We are looking forward to remaining in the region with Google.

Our journey to date has only been possible thanks to the contributions of many:

The first being the hundreds of people who have been part of our team over the last eight years. The North team has proven to be leaders in solving the hard engineering challenges that will enable a great future, and we’re proud to have worked alongside this large group of talented people.

The second is the support we’ve had from countless partners, investors, mentors and advisors who have taken leaps of faith and have worked tirelessly to help us see our vision through. We would not be here today without their continual support.

Lastly is our appreciation for Focals 1.0 customers who share our vision of everyday smart glasses. We are winding down Focals 1.0 and we will not be shipping Focals 2.0, but we hope you will continue the journey with us as we start this next chapter.

We couldn’t be more thrilled to join Google, and to take an exciting next step towards the future we’ve been focused on for the past eight years.

Stephen Lake
Matthew Bailey
Aaron Grant
Co-Founders, North