Re/code, LightField Forum: Lytro raised $50M in a round led by a new investor GSV Capital and includes participation from all of Lytro’s existing investors along with Allen & Co. and Danhua Capital. It values the company at five times its last financing round.
Lytro plans to use the new funding to make a strategic shift, taking its light-field technology into new areas, including video and virtual reality.
Lytro CEO Jason Rosenthal told Re/code “Fifty million dollars is a nice big number, but it is not unlimited. We had to make some pretty tough decisions. We are going to have to make some cuts in some areas so we can staff up in some new ones.” The company is expected to lay off 25 to 50 people out of its 130 employees, while at the same time looking to hire those with expertise in the new areas that were not previously of focus for the company.
Late last year, Lytro founder and Chairman Ren Ng announced he was leaving full-time work at the company to take a professorship at the University of California, Berkeley.
Meanwhile, Lightfield Forum reviews a recently published Lytro patent application with movable lightfield lens array to allow the camera operate in both lightfield and a regular 2D imaging mode: