Bublcam 360 degree camera raises $4.6M, makes leadership changes
Team of investors includes technology giant Samsung.
TORONTO — Bubl Technology Inc., the Canadian developer of Bublcam 360-degree cameras, is making changes to its executive structure after securing $4.6 million from a team of investors that includes technology giant Samsung.
The Toronto-based company will announce that its founder Sean Ramsay will leave his post as chief executive officer and assume the role chief innovation officer as he turns his attention solely to building the product and the technology.
Dan Mills, who also helped launch the startup, will become CEO on an interim basis, after serving as vice president of hardware for the past several years.
Bublcam takes both pictures and video in a spherical range which creates a new experience for photographers who feel constrained by panoramic shots. The baseball-sized camera has four lenses, which grab images from all directions, and laces the information together to create a realistic 360-degree version of a natural environment.
Once it’s loaded onto a computer, viewers can scroll across the moving image, quite like exploring the virtual world on Google Maps.
“We’ve got a proven, viable product now – both hardware and software – and we’re ready for prime time,” said Mills in an interview.
“It really is just getting it out there … and building on some of the relationships that Sean has already put together.”
The move comes as Bubl closes financing from a group of private investors, which includes Samsung Ventures, a division of the electronics company which invests in small developers for an equity stake in the company.
The other key investor is J-Tech Capital, a consortium of Chinese investors who are looking to help Canadian startups enter Asian markets.
Bublcam is just one of many 360-degree cameras vying for a share of a niche part of the photography sales market.
Earlier this month, the company delivered its first round of shipments to customers who helped fund the company during its initial Kickstarter campaign.
“We really want to stay ahead any emerging competitors,” Mills said.
In the coming months, Bubl Technologies aims to ramp up manufacturing to make online inventory of its cameras more consistent.
Eventually, the company hopes to expand its interactive videos and still images into the future of virtual world technology by making the Bublcam compatible with VR headsets.
In the meantime, the board of directors is conducting a search for a permanent CEO, the company said.
Bubl Technologies was founded in 2011 and has about 30 employees.
© 2015 The Canadian Press