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Tweet: “@emerge_io is creating a future where distance and time don’t stand in the way of feeling present. Imagine giving someone a virtual high five.”

LOS ANGELES–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#ARVR–Today, Emerge announced the close of a $12M Series A investment round led by M13, with participation from Vulcan Capital, LionTree Partners, and other investors, putting the total raised to date at $18M. The company is building a platform that enables users to feel and share immersive content with bare hands.

The company was founded by CEO Sly Lee, CTO Isaac Castro, and CFO and Head of Insights Mauricio Teran, who met at Singularity University, a Google/NASA sponsored program, and who hold awards from MIT, Forbes, and the World Economic Forum. Headquartered in Los Angeles, the team consists of tech leaders with former roles at DFJ, GV, Daqri, and Raytheon, who have helped build technologies like the James Webb Space Telescope and the Mars Rover at NASA JPL; brought consumer electronics and extended reality (XR) products to market; and who hold several granted patents in hardware-enabled communications technologies.

“If you think about technologies we have today to keep in touch with our loved ones from a distance, we are extremely limited in our ability to connect and feel present with them,” said Sly Lee, CEO at Emerge. “Even with technologies like XR, you’re still a spectator limited to two senses: sight and sound. We have a 10 year roadmap to build products that create the next paradigms of presence.”

Emerge is building a consumer product that enables users from distant locations to physically touch, feel, and share immersive content in XR using their bare hands.

“Our vision is to create a future where distance and time don’t stand in the way of feeling present. Our goal is to create new interaction standards and a new language of touch for multi-sensory XR experiences,” said Isaac Castro, CTO at Emerge.

As investments in the field of XR continue to increase, Emerge is aiming to empower a developer community to create applications around a few core use cases:

Tabletop & Social XR Games

  • Playing virtual chess with your grandfather and giving him a hi-five
  • Mom playing a game with her child, interacting with characters that come to life
  • Using touch-sensations to convey emotion in place of emojis

Learning & Creative Play

  • Using your hands to sculpt digital clay
  • Kids playing and sharing digital toys with their cousins abroad
  • Learning about the solar system, feeling the rotation of a neutron star

Multi-sensory Meditation & Wellbeing

  • Touch-assisted relaxation experiences: feeling an ocean wave
  • Shape and feel music with your hands
  • Virtual pets you can pet, such as Tamagotchi 2.0 or Pikachu

“Recent advances in immersive displays, cloud computing and 5G, commoditization of key sensors, and advancements in AI, amongst other converging technologies hint the time is right for the transition to the next computing platform,” said Mauricio Teran, CFO and Head of Insights at Emerge.

The company shared they are growing the team rapidly over the next quarters and are planning to engage Unity developers and creators in early 2020.

More information can be found at their website:

About Emerge:

Emerge is a cross-reality presence company, building a platform that aims to enable more meaningful, engaging, and diverse interactions in XR that bring us closer to the people we care about. Emerge is creating a future where distance and time don’t stand in the way of feeling present with a first product that enables users to interact, share, and physically feel XR immersive content with bare hands. The founders and team are former entrepreneurs and executives awarded by MIT, WEF, and Forbes, and have brought consumer electronics and XR products to market. Emerge is based in Los Angeles, CA.

About M13:

M13 is a full-service venture engine whose founding teams access the necessary capital, expertise, and resources to build and scale consumer tech companies. Founded in 2016, with offices in Los Angeles, New York, and San Francisco, M13’s portfolio includes Lyft, Pinterest, Ring, Daily Harvest, FabFitFun, Rothy’s, and others. Through Fund II, M13 will expand its focus to emerging technologies driving change in consumer behavior over the next decade. With more than 80 direct investments and 16 exits, M13’s portfolio totals over $137B in enterprise value. For more information on M13, please visit


Sly Lee, CEO
[email protected]