Opal Camera Closes $17M Series A Led by Founders Fund, Kindred Ventures, MKBHD, and Casey Neistat.

Company will expand into additional hardware categories and aims to build the future of consumer electronics.

SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 25, 2023

Opal Camera Inc. is excited to announce the completion of its Series A funding round, totalling $17 million. The round was led by Founders Fund, with continued participation from Kindred Ventures and other notable investors including renowned tech creators Marques Brownlee and Casey Neistat.

"We founded Opal under a simple principle – that the products you use the most often should be the best things you own," said Veeraj Chugh, CEO and co-founder of Opal.

The company's first product was the Opal C1 webcam, the first professional webcam with DSLR quality. The product was borne out of an insight that modern workers were spending more time on their webcams than on their phone.

Nearly 60,000 people were on the waitlist for the C1 after its launch in December 2021, and the camera quickly became a favorite among designers and creators. In the two years since launch, the company has focused on quality, rewriting the camera firmware, and releasing a new software app, the Opal Composer.

Expansion into new hardware categories

"The honest truth is that we started Opal because we thought the market for webcams desperately needed better hardware," said Chugh. "What we realized is that you can bring a lot of people joy by giving them usable, beautiful devices."

With this latest round of funding, Opal is broadening its vision to include new cameras, as well as branching into other aspects of consumer electronics, a category that has seen little progress over the past decade.

"This funding allows us to grow both the short and long-term visions of Opal," said Stefan Sohlstrom, co-founder of Opal. "We're excited to further grow our camera business, but we're also posing ourselves a fundamental question: what does a modern consumer electronics company look like, and what would it build?"

Opal's expansion into new product lines is centered around the theme that new technologies shouldn't be constrained to old form factors.

"Phones were perfect for helping us take the internet anywhere," said Chugh. "But now we're at the tipping point of a lot of new technologies, where our relationship with devices and information is going to change in meaningful ways."

Opal's next products are being built for singular, specific experiences like learning, capturing memories, and having meaningful conversations. Modern tools are built to do everything, but in the process miss the nuance and charm of specialized devices that Opal thinks are needed.

"We want Opal to build these new devices that give us an intimate way to use modern technologies," said Sohlstrom. "Sony did something similar in the 1980's, building new devices that changed our lives. They started with humble transistor radios, and we started with webcams."

New investors

Joining Founders Fund in the round are Kindred Ventures, Slack Fund, and Sam Hinkie's Eighty-Seven Capital. A coterie of influential hardware storytellers like Marques Brownlee and Casey Neistat joined the round along with the founders of Airbnb, Instagram, Shopify, Twitch and YouTube.

Trae Stephens was the partner who led the investment for Founders Fund. "Sometimes you walk into an office, and on the tables you see stuff that looks like the future," said Stephens. "The hard part is turning it into something real. I think Opal knows how. And they're about to show you."

Best-in-class team

Opal has recently attracted top talent from industry giants. David Kalinowski, one of the first engineers on Apple Vision Pro, joined Opal to lead hardware. Claudio Guglieri, who recently worked as Design Director at Microsoft, joined to lead design.

Additionally, Opal, having won design awards from AIGA, Red Dot and D&AD, is furthering its design prowess by bringing in celebrated Shinagawa-born industrial designer Akifusa "Aki" Nakazawa, who previously worked in the renowned Sharp Japan design team.

The company has raised $20m to-date from investors including Will Ahmed, Carmine Arabia, Hugo Barra, Max Branzburg, Leigh Marie Braswell, Joshua Browder, Adam Bry, Jeremy Cai, Oliver Cameron, Ilter Canberk, Liam Casey, Surojit Chatterjee, Emilie Choi, Larry Chu, Soleio Cuervo, Matthew Dellavedova, Charlie & Dixie D'Amelio, Sara Dietschy, Hong Feng, Joe Gebbia, Kevin Gibbon, Ros Gold-Onwude, Manik Gupta, Drew Hanlen, Chad Hurley, Lydia Jett, Mike Krieger, Michelle Kwon, Kirk Lacob, Sahil Lavingia, Kevin Lin, Tobias Lütke, Charley Ma, Trevor McFedries, Matt Mullenweg, Zaza Pachulia, Carl Pei, Ryan Petersen, Anthony Pompliano, Gokul Rajaram, Karri Saarinen, Tim Young, Ed Zitron, 444 Capital, Acrew Capital, Automattic, Coalition Operators, Cherubic Ventures, Offline Ventures, Seven Seven Six, Shrug Capital and WSGR.

For more information, visit opalcamera.com.

✌️ The Opal team.

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