PORTL Closes $12M Fundraising Round To Grow Demand For Its Virtual Presence Products
November 19, 2021 by Dave Haynes
The company that has really pushed the possibilities for transparent LCD and marketed a quasi-hologram-ish virtual presence product called PORTL has just announced a healthy fundraising round.
LA-based PORTL Inc. has announced the close of its $12M Series A round, led by TRUE Capital Management and funded by everyone from well-known tech investor Tim Draper to rappers and pro sports stars.
“CEOs, brands, universities, as well as crypto artists are all using PORTL to connect and communicate in entirely new ways. PORTL is going to change the way we work, learn and play forever,” says David Nussbaum, Founder, Inventor and CEO of PORTL. “We’re very lucky to have investors who see the vision as well.”
The new financing will be used to expand PORTL’s global live streaming platform, launch its mobile and MINI products, grow its tech and sales team, and service its quickly-growing customer base across live events, entertainment, education, retail, healthcare, corporate communications, and tech.
“PORTL’s technology is beyond exciting, with virtually endless applications across business and consumer markets,” says TRUE Capital Management Co-Founder and CEO Doug Raetz. “Global markets are still dealing with the effects of the pandemic, so the ability to connect across the miles via holoportation with such clarity and realism is profound. We’re excited to play a part in the next phase of growth for this innovative company with its transformational technology.”
The company has won several awards and has got beyond online buzz to win and deliver funded projects:
- PORTL has completed projects with IWC, HBO, Netflix, DHL, Chase Bank, as well as the telecoms AT&T, T-Mobile, and Orange SA;
- Sports and holograms continue to be attracted to each other with activations at Mercedes Benz Stadium, the Major League Soccer All-Star Game, the Major League Baseball All-Star Game FanFest, the U.S. Open, and Formula E Racing. Music artists have made use of PORTL to live beam including P. Diddy, Kane Brown, and Migos;
- PORTL has also been chosen by the crypto community as the perfect showcase for NFT art and the company completed projects with NBA champion Danny Green, Christie’s, amfAR, NYC.NFT, Miami Crypto Experience, and for this year’s upcoming Art Basel;
- In a historic first, the University of Central Florida’s School of Health Professions and Sciences is using a PORTL to beam doctors, teachers, and patients to students for detailed, engaging sessions on symptoms and care. This is the first of a series of PORTLs in medical education that will be networked under the brand Dr. Hologram.
This is NOT a true hologram, and Nussbaum in conversations has been quite open about that. His point of view is that marketing technology is challenging, and people need a familiar name or concept that people can wrap their heads around. They kinda sorta generally get the idea of holograms as things – like people – that are visible, but not really there.
In this case, the product is like a big white shower stall with a large transparent LCD as its front component. PORTL is particularly good with the illumination of that display and the use of lighting and shadows on a green-screen set to create a sense of depth and dimension to what is really a flat visual. They’ve also been very good at creating buzz on social channels, with videos showing the output in the “Portl” but also the “live” person being green-screen captured just feet away.
PORTL now has copycats, of course, and there are other products also calling what they do holograms, that aren’t – including forced perspective LED billboards, those spinny LED light wands thingies and a variety of set-ups that use the century-old Pepper’s Ghost illusion (which is a reflection).