Mike Lynch's Invoke Capital fund has raised �$1bn to support tech projects

Augmented reality start-up receives backing

A start-up developing augmented reality technology is the latest firm to receive investment from Autonomy founder Mike Lynch.

Augmented reality technology aims to help a device such as a mobile phone to recognise objects in the real world, such as a building, and overlay relevant information onto the image on its screen and is seen by some as the next big digital craze.

Taggar which is producing technology allows people to share video and other content they have tagged to objects in the real world, said Lynch, who sold software firm Autonomy to Hewlett-Packard for $11bn.

The undisclosed investment is the second by Invoke Capital, a $1bn fund set up by the British entrepreneur after he left Autonomy last year just seven months following the HP takeover that netted him about $760m.

Lynch is now focusing on commercializing science and mathematics technology coming out of British universities, which he calls "techy tech".

"I am a great believer that techy tech and creative tech need to talk to each other a bit more, on both sides," he said in an interview. "We are good at both of them, but the sad thing is in the past they haven't leveraged each other enough."

The brains behind Taggar is an algorithm developed by Cambridge-based Neurence that can recognise and make sense of images, and then overlay content like video on top.

Anybody can create and add content, and it is this social aspect that sets it apart from other augmented reality apps, according to Charlotte Golunski from Invoke.

The HP-Autonomy deal, which was hailed at the time as a major success for British technology, was later tainted by accusations of accounting fraud.

Lynch, who has strongly contested the claims, said he had heard "remarkably little" from the authorities, including the US Department of Justice and Britain's Serious Fraud Office, in the last year.

"We are still sitting here waiting to hear what this is all about," he said. "It's an absolutely bizarre situation to us."

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