Emerging Tech Analysis

Part
01
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Part
01

Competitors 3

Vuzix is a decades-old industry leader in the augmented reality space, whereas ThirdEye and DreamWorld are new startups, both founded in 2016 and their first products launched in 2018. All requested data regarding these companies has been entered in the attached spreadsheet, and can also be found below, followed by an explanation of our research methodology.


Vuzix History

  • Vuzix was founded in 1997 by Paul Travers in Rochester, New York. It released its first product, a virtual reality product called VFX-3D, in 1998 under the name Interactive Imagine Systems.
  • Vuzix is recognized as a pioneer in the augmented reality space, and can be said to have experimented with AR-style technology as early as 2003, with its Second Sight personal display device.
  • While it has not been outright acquired, Intel did purchase a sizeable share in the company, which it retains today (though the two companies terminated a cooperative agreement in 2016).
  • The company has not gone through any change in senior leadership, with founder Paul Travers and CFO Grant Russell remaining at the company for the entirety of its existence.


Vuzix Products

Vuzix currently has two products on the market and one expected to ship in September 2019:
  • The M400 Smart Glasses are the company's newest AR product, expected to ship in September 2019. They will allegedly be "the most powerful standalone smart glasses available on the market."
  • The Vuzix Blade AR Smart Glasses are more conventional smart glasses. They are "perfect for any user," implying a general public target audience, and, at $699, are the company's cheapest offering.
  • The M300XL Smart Glasses are an AR headset aimed more directly at enterprise clients, with Vuzix touting the device's efficiency gains in the workplace.


Vuzix Funding

  • Through six funding rounds, Vuzix has raised a total of US$47,900,000.


Vuzix Claims

  • Vuzix claims that its M300XL brings "even more efficiency to the workplace" than its previous iteration, the M300, thanks to "new design and feedback systems."
  • Its impending M400 Smart Glasses will allegedly be the most powerful of their kind on the market, according to Vuzix.
  • It claims that its Vuzix Blade headset "delivers enhanced functionality for your on-the-go, hands-free, mobile computing requirements."


Vuzix Team


ThirdEye History


ThirdEye Products

ThirdEye currently offers one hardware product and two software solution that are included with the hardware, as well as an associated software service:
  • ThirdEye X2 augmented reality glasses, which incorporate "a wide field of view, powerful sensors, and the VisionEye SLAM SDK into an exceptionally minimalistic form factor." CEO Nick Cherukuri has said that the field of view is its primary differentiating factor, "which, at 42 degrees, it is very wide."
  • ThirdEye Workspace, which "is a powerful, fully integrated software tool that comes with ThirdEye Smart Glasses." This software provides a suite of workplace-related augmented reality applications designed for the company's enterprise clients.
  • The VisionEye Slam SDK, included with the company's hardware, "is built by ThirdEye to allow its Smart Glasses to better understand and interact with the real world." It orients the device within the real world to construct an augmented reality.
  • ThirdEye also offers a custom software-building service, in which "in-house software developers can build and create Augmented/Mixed Reality Software based on your specific use case."


ThirdEye Funding

  • ThirdEye has, thus far, been self-funded by founder and CEO Nick Cherukuri, but he has recently said that he is currently planning a Series A funding round.


ThirdEye Claims


ThirdEye Team


DreamWorld History


DreamWorld Products

  • DreamWorld's only product currently on the market is the DreamGlass, an affordable AR headset that connects to AR-capable smartphones. The device combines high-caliber technical specifications with a relatively low price, being the first to offer "a 90-degree field of view for less than $400."


DreamWorld Funding

  • No funding data could be found for DreamWorld.


DreamWorld Claims

  • DreamWorld claims that the DreamGlass combines "the virtual world with the real like never before" with "industry-leading optical design." The device, it says, is a "low cost, high tech, cross-platform compatible" option in the augmented reality space. Users can, according to DreamWorld, "interact intuitively through the [attached smart phone's] touchscreen."


DreamWorld Team


Your research team employed the following strategy:

To locate the requested data on Vuzix, ThirdEye, and DreamWorld, we conducted three distinct research approaches. First, we conducted an exhaustive review of the companies' websites and associated company-produced materials, such as press releases. Second, we conducted a search of third-party databases, such as Crunchbase. Third, we conducted a generalized press search to find third-party media reports regarding the companies.

Some combination of these approaches allowed us to find all requested data on the three companies aside from funding data on DreamWorld. The company's Crunchbase profile, where funding data is often displayed, did not include any information. The company's website included little information in general about the company itself, instead focusing primarily on its product. While several media reports regarding the company and its product were found, none included any funding information. The company may be self-funded, like ThirdEye, or funded by some other means; in any case, no information in this regard was found to be publicly available.
Part
02
of five
Part
02

Competitors 2

Ghost is a fledgling company started as a passion project by Los Angeles-based designer Jean Helfenstein, while Epson and Toshiba are storied Japanese organizations with long histories in electronics, but have only recently entered the augmented reality market. The requested data on these companies has been entered into the attached spreadsheet, and can also be found below, followed by an explanation of our research methodology.


Ghost History

  • Ghost began as a "passion project" of Jean Helfenstein, a designer at Los Angeles-based design studio Black Rainbow, in 2018. Black Rainbow currently owns the trademarks associated with Ghost, so Ghost is effectively a subsidiary of the design studio.
  • The product has not yet been launched, but a prototype has been produced, and the Ghost website promises that a developer's kit is "coming soon."
  • At the moment, Helfenstein appears to be the only senior leader at the fledgling Ghost, which has not yet been acquired nor made any acquisitions.
  • Helfenstein's goal with the Ghost project is to make the AR experience more affordable and accessible, with an AR headset powered entirely by a smartphone.

Ghost Products


Ghost Funding

  • No funding data is available for Ghost aside from a now-closed crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo, which raised US$31,673.


Ghost Claims

  • Ghost claims that its headset offers a means to "browse the web in an immersive way while remaining portable and convenient."
  • A major selling point is its multitasking capability, claiming that users will be able to open numerous screens at once throughout the augmented reality.
  • For developers, Ghost claims that "building apps for Ghost is a breeze. Since it is powered by your smartphone we can leverage some of the best libraries out there such as ARKit/SceneKit, ARCore, and Google VR."

Ghost Team


Epson History

  • Epson is a highly established company with its roots in Nagano, Japan, where, in 1942, Hisao Yamazaki established the company that would ultimately become Epson. Initially a manufacturer of watch parts, Epson launched its first significant product, a watch of original design, in 1956.
  • Over the years. Epson morphed into one of the world's premier producers of printers and printing products. More recently, it has made a foray into the augmented reality space, when it launched its first AR glasses in 2011.
  • It has not been acquired, but has made 2 acquisitions: Cross Company in 2019 and New Index in 2011.
  • Numerous changes in senior leadership have occurred over the company's long history, the most recent of which saw Tatsuaki Seki promoted to Director, managing executive officer and Yasunori Ogawa to Director, managing executive officer in the wake of several retirements and other changes.


Epson Products

Epson's augmented reality offerings are encapsulated in the Moverio line of products, which consists of five devices:
  • The BT-300 augmented reality headset, which runs on an Android 5.1 operating system and an Intel Atom X5 processor.
  • The BT-30C smart glasses, which do not have their own operating system or processor but connect via USB-C to a phone or PC.
  • The BT-35E smart glasses, which do not have their own operating system or processor but connect via video input to a variety of popular devices
  • The BT-350 augmented reality headset, which runs on an Android 5.1 operating system and an Intel Atom X5 processor.
  • The Pro-BT 2000/2200 augmented reality headsets, which run on Android 4.1 and a TI OMAP 4460 processor.


Epson Revenue


Epson Claims

  • Epson claims that at exhibits or other displays, its Moverio augmented reality tools can offer "greater accessibility options and customized experiences for visitors."
  • It says that these products can also "reduce human error, minimize travel cost and increase safety in [industrial] operations."
  • It also claims that convenience over its competitors can be obtained, particularly with its AR offerings that allow for easy connections with other devices via USB or other inputs.


Epson Team


Toshiba History

  • One of Japan's oldest and most prominent companies, Toshiba has its origins in 1875 Tokyo, where Hisashige Tanaka built Tanaka Seizo-sho or Tanaka Engineering Works, which would ultimately become Toshiba.
  • At the time, the company manufactured telegraphic equipment for the Japanese government, but over the decades it has diversified into a leading global electronics supplier.
  • It has gotten into the augmented reality market much more recently, with its DynaEdge AR glasses being launched in 2018.
  • While it has not been acquired, Toshiba has made ten acquisitions, with the most recent being UEM India Pvt. Ltd. in 2015.
  • It has undergone numerous changes in senior leadership throughout its long history, with the most notable recent change being the installation of outsider Nobuaki Kurumatani as CEO in the wake of scandals and losses.

Toshiba Products

  • Toshiba's only augmented reality offering is the DynaEdge AR headset, which utilizes a Windows operating system with up to an Intel Core m7 processor to produce augmented reality. The headset comes with "display, microphone, touchpad, camera and speakers" to enhance the AR experience and offer additional benefits on the job site.

Toshiba Revenue


Toshiba Claims

  • Toshiba claims that the DynaEdge "actively empowers [industry] workers through a range of hands-free tasks and processes."
  • It claims that the device "takes collaborative working to the next level" with its Remote Expert feature, which allows not only for remote communication with experts, but also for detailed visual communication remotely.
  • DynaEdge, according to Toshiba, offers "powerful efficiency across the enterprise," allowing for easy, on-demand, hands-free work instructions and facilitated communication.
  • Additionally, the DynaEdge offers "real-time data capture" to "assure quality standards and analyze performance."


Toshiba Team


Your research team employed the following strategy:

To locate the requested data on Ghost, Epson, and Toshiba, we conducted three distinct research approaches. First, we conducted an exhaustive review of the companies' websites and associated company-produced materials, such as press releases. Second, we conducted a search of third-party databases, such as Crunchbase. Third, we conducted a generalized press search to find third-party media reports regarding the companies.

Little information was available regarding the fledgling Ghost, which can likely be explained by its newness and by the fact that it has not yet launched its product. From the information available, it appears that Jean Helfenstein, its founder, is the only senior leader currently at the company, and that the only funding it has received thus far is that from the crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo. However, it is possible that the company is more well-developed than available sources indicate, and simply has failed to attract sufficient media attention to bring this development to light.

Both Epson and Toshiba offer a highly diverse set of products and services, but we focused our findings on their augmented reality offerings (those competing with the Mira Prism) in the 'Products' and 'Claims' sections. Similarly, because Epson and Toshiba are highly established companies, not startups, we provided these companies' most recent annual revenues in lieu of their total funding received.
Part
03
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Part
03

Competitors 1

Magic Leap is a secretive startup founded in 2010 that has produced an advanced augmented reality system called the Magic Leap One. Microsoft and Google are decades-old, highly-established companies, but both have recently entered the augmented reality space, with Microsoft Hololens and Google Glass. Requested data regarding these companies has been entered in the attached spreadsheet, and can also be found below, followed by an explanation of our research methodology.


Magic Leap History

  • Magic Leap was founded in 2010 by Roy Abovitz and Brian Schowengerdt in Plantation, Florida.
  • Its product, the Magic Leap One, was first unveiled in 2017 and shipped in 2018.
  • It has not yet been acquired, but has acquired five companies: Mimesys, Computes, Fuzzycube Software, Dacuda, and NorthBit.
  • Its two co-founders are still among its senior leadership, but there has been some turnover there recently, when Chief Marketing Officer Brenda Freeman and Chief Business Officer Rachna Bhasin "stepped back into advisory roles at the company" in 2018.
  • For most of its existence, Magic Leap has been highly secretive, garnering significant intrigue as corporate giants such as Alibaba and JPMorgan Chase have contributed funding.

Magic Leap Products

  • Magic Leap's Magic Leap One has three components. First is the Lightwear, which is the augmented reality headset itself, equipped with "cameras, sensors, speakers and optical relay."
  • Second is the computing power of the system, called the Lightpack, which is "an integrated GPU and CPU that generates high-fidelity, gaming-quality graphics to create next-level experiences." The Lightpack is lightweight and portable, allowing the user to easily move around while using the system.
  • Third is the system's Control, a small, remote-like device that gives the user the coveted "six degrees of freedom" (or 6DoF) to interact with the augmented reality created by the other components.


Magic Leap Funding

  • Through seven funding rounds, Magic Leap has raised US$2,600,000,000 in total funding.


Magic Leap Claims

  • Magic Leap claims that its Magic Leap One device offers "unparalleled experiences" in augmented reality.
  • The company calls the device's control "an engineering marvel," offering six degrees of freedom with no external sensors.
  • The operating system used on the device, called Lumin OS, is said to create "high-fidelity visual experiences that turns your wildest imagination into even wilder realities."
  • The company claims that the Leap One has "practically limitless" potential to transform businesses, and that developers can take advantage of the platform's "ever-growing user base" with new applications.


Magic Leap Team


Microsoft History

  • Microsoft was founded in 1975 by Bill Gates and Paul Allen in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The company's first product, an operating system marketed under the name of Altair BASIC, was released the same year.
  • Over 40 years later, in 2016, the company released its first augmented reality product, the first iteration of the Hololens line.
  • While it has never been acquired, Microsoft has made 222 acquisitions over its history. The one most relevant to augmented reality was its acquisition of Swedish startup Simplygon in 2017 to integrate its technology into the Hololens.
  • The company has gone through numerous changes in senior leadership throughout its nearly 45-year history; the most recent significant change was a leadership restructuring as longtime Windows chief Terry Myerson, and included appointing Panos Panay as Chief Product Officer, among other changes.


Microsoft Products

  • While Microsoft offers a range of software and hardware products, its only currently-available augmented reality offering is the Hololens 2, its latest iteration of the Hololens line of AR headsets.
  • The Hololens 2 is an ergonomically-designed headset with state-of-the-art AR technology, integrated with Microsoft AI and Cloud features, as well as other Microsoft software such as Microsoft Hello (which automatically logs users into the system with a retinal scan).


Microsoft Revenue


Microsoft Claims


Microsoft Team

  • Satya Nadella, Chief Executive Officer
  • Judson Althoff, Executive Vice President, Worldwide Commercial Business
  • Chris Capossela, Chief Marketing Officer and Executive Vice President, Marketing and Consumer Business
  • Jean-Philippe Courtois, Executive Vice President and President, Microsoft Global Sales, Marketing and Operations
  • Kurt DelBene, Chief Digital Officer and Executive Vice President, Corporate Strategy, Core Services Engineering and Operations
  • Kevin Scott, Chief Technology Officer and Executive Vice President
  • Brad Smith, President


Google History

  • Google was founded in 1998 in Menlo Park, California by Larry Page and Sergey Brin. Its first product, the Google search engine (initially called Backrub), was developed earlier, but a $100,000 investment in 1998 allowed the company to expand to an office, complete with a server and other employees.
  • The company's first foray into augmented reality, the first iteration of the Google Glass, was unveiled in 2012 and launched in 2013, but the company halted sales of this first iteration in 2015. The next iteration of the device is the current, enterprise-focused version, launched in 2017.
  • Google has never been acquired; while it is a subsidiary of parent company Alphabet, this was simply the result of reorganization by co-founder Page in 2015. It has, however, acquired 235 companies.
  • The company has gone through numerous changes in senior leadership since its inception, with the most recent being Diane Greene stepping down as CEO of Google Cloud and being replaced by Thomas Koran in 2018.

Google Products

  • While Google offers a range of products and services, its only currently-available augmented reality product is the newest iteration of the Google Glass (the "enterprise edition"), aimed at hands-on industries.
  • The device is a simple set of lightweight glasses. It allows for voice commands to make it entirely hands-free, and its use of Android Open Source Platform "makes it quick and easy to develop on."

Google Revenue


Google Claims

  • Google claims that Glass helps workers "remain engaged and focused on high value work by removing distractions."
  • Additionally, it claims that work instructions that can be shown via Glass allow for jobs to be completed "safely, quickly and to a higher standard."
  • Similarly, Google claims that Glass improves communication, allowing workers to more effectively "collaborate and troubleshoot in real-time."

Google Team


Your research team employed the following strategy:

To locate the requested data on Magic Leap, Microsoft, and Google, we conducted three distinct research approaches. First, we conducted an exhaustive review of the companies' websites and associated company-produced materials, such as press releases. Second, we conducted a search of third-party databases, such as Crunchbase. Third, we conducted a generalized press search to find third-party media reports regarding the companies. While both Microsoft and Google offer a highly diverse set of products and services, we focused our findings on their augmented reality offerings (those competing with the Mira Prism) in the 'Products' and 'Claims' sections. Similarly, because Microsoft and Google are highly established companies, not startups, we provided these companies' most recent annual revenues in lieu of their total funding received.
Part
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Part
04

Mira Competitors

Mira's flagship product, an augmented reality headset called the Prism, is targeted primarily at industry, in addition to developers who can use the product as a platform on which to design new AR-based applications. Competitors to this company (i.e., companies that produce similar headsets targeted at a similar audience) include Magic Leap, Microsoft, Google, Ghost, Epson, Toshiba, Vuzix, ThirdEye, and DreamWorld. These companies have been entered into the attached spreadsheet, along with their websites and a brief overview of each; this data can also be found below, followed by an explanation of our research methodology.


Magic Leap

  • Magic Leap's Magic Leap One is an augmented reality headset that the company describes as "a spatial computer that lets you see and interact with digital content in the world around you."
  • The tool is primarily targeted at consumers but is also marketed to developers as a platform on which to develop new AR applications.
  • It is portable and fits in a convenient pack sold with the product, and is controlled by an associated remote.
  • Given that this is an AR headset, particularly one marketed, in part, to developers seeking to incorporate AR into new applications, this is a competitor to Mira.

Microsoft

  • Microsoft is a company that "develops, licenses, and supports a range of software products, services and devices." It has developed a line of augmented reality headsets called Hololens.
  • The current generation of this headset, the Hololens 2, "combines an untethered device with apps and solutions" that allows enterprise employees to "learn, communicate, and collaborate more effectively."
  • Microsoft's Hololens competes with Mira as it is an AR headset, and, like Mira, has industry as its one of its target audiences. While Microsoft is far from an emerging company, its entrance into the AR market is still relatively new.

Google

  • Google began its existence as an online search engine firm, but has now expanded to "more than 50 Internet services and products."
  • Among its varied offerings is Google Glass, which is a lightweight augmented reality headset that is described as "a hands-free device for smarter and faster hands-on work."
  • Its target audience is industry, aimed at hands-on workers who could benefit from the hands-free computing power of an AR headset.
  • Google's Glass and Mira's Prism are competing, in large part, for the same audience: hands-on industrial workers whose jobs can be improved by the hands-free connectivity of the headsets these companies offer. Like Microsoft, Google is not an emerging company, but its entrance into the AR space is relatively new.

Ghost

  • Ghost has developed an augmented reality headset that is powered by an associated app on AR-compatible smartphones.
  • The smartphone integration allows the headset to be priced at a relatively affordable $99.
  • The company is planning on offering a developer's kit soon, and claims that "building apps for Ghost is a breeze."
  • Like Mira's Prism, Ghost is an affordable AR headset option, and both are powered by smartphones in lieu of additional specialized hardware.

Epson

  • Epson is a global company focused on a variety of sectors, including printing solutions, visual communications, robotics solutions, and microdevices.
  • Epson has developed an augmented reality headset called Moverio. This headset is primarily targeted at industry.
  • Like Mira's Prism, most Moverio use cases provided by Epson are in industries that can benefit from hands-free visual assistance and connectivity, indicating that they are largely competing for the same customers.

Toshiba

  • Toshiba is "one of Japan's oldest and largest producers of consumer and industrial electric and electronic products."
  • Recently, its personal computer arm (which has been rebranded under the name Dynabook) launched an augmented reality headset. Called DynaEdge, this product is primarily marketed to industry workers as a hands-free visual technology solution.
  • Given that the DynaEdge's primary use case is industry, it is a competitor to Mira's Prism.

Vuzix

  • Focused on augmented reality headsets and so-called 'smart glasses,' Vuzix is one of the leading suppliers in this space.
  • It offers several AR products, including the M400 Smart Glasses, the M300 Smart Glasses, the M300XL Smart Glasses, and the Blade AR Smart Glasses.
  • Some, like the Blade AR Smart Glasses, are targeted, at least in part, at industry clients. Given this, it is a competitor to Mira.


ThirdEye

  • ThirdEye is a company focused on augmented reality hardware and software.
  • Its augmented reality headset, X2 Smart Glasses, is targeted primarily at industry, in conjunction with its ThirdEye Workspace Platform. Developers are also in the company's target audience. As such, it can be considered a competitor to Mira.


DreamWorld

  • DreamWorld describes itself as "the new frontier of Augmented Reality."
  • Its DreamGlass AR headset is the first that offers a 90-degree view with a sub-$400 price tag.
  • While it is marketed to the general population, developers are also among the DreamGlass's target audience, making it a competitor to Mira.


Your research team employed the following strategy:


To locate competitors to Mira, whose Prism is an augmented reality headset primarily marketed to industry clients and developers, we conducted a wide-ranging press search, looking for other producers of augmented reality headsets. After finding headset producers, we determined if their headsets are marketed to the same audience as the Prism. This lead us to exclude certain headsets with alternate use cases, such as the Everysight Raptor (marketed to cyclists) or North Focals (marketed to general consumers). Similarly, we avoided other AR-related technology, such as AR-driven smartphone apps, focusing solely on headsets like the Prism.
Part
05
of five
Part
05

Mink Beauty Printer and Mira Reality

Mink has developed a 3D printer that prints imported pictures as makeup, which it is preparing to bring to market in 2020. Mira offers an affordable, hands-free augmented reality (AR) headset called the Prism that is controlled via a smartphone app, which allows it to bypass the "traditionally high barriers to entry" in the AR space. Complete findings on these companies has been entered in the attached spreadsheet, and can also be found below, followed by an explanation of our research methodology.

Mink Overview


Mink History


Mink Products

  • Mink's only product is its 3D makeup printer. The user first "import[s] any image from the internet, camera roll or social media" to the printer; then, after inserting a makeup sheet, the image is printed as makeup.

Mink Funding

  • We could not locate any funding data for Mink from the company itself, third-party databases such as Crunchbase, or associated news reports.
  • However, it has been reported that co-founder and CEO Grace Choi has stated that she will never accept venture capital funding, and that the company is bringing its product "to market with the help of strategic partners, such as printing and major beauty brands, plus her savings account."

Mink Claims

  • Mink claims that its printer allows business or consumers "to bring [their] beauty content to life by instantly transforming any image into wearable makeup," substantially widening the range of possible products offered.
  • This "combines the endless variety of content from the internet, the newness and relevance of social media, and the convenience of the home," particularly with the product's "ultra portable and compact" design.
  • The range of colors is similarly extensive, with "16.7 million colors [available] at 15 seconds per sheet."


Mink Team


Mira Overview

  • Mira offers an affordable augmented reality (AR) headset called the Prism. The company also offers a software development kit to help users develop new applications involving AR using the Prism as a platform.
  • Additionally, the company claims that the headset can be used in a wide range of industries, including telecommunications, mining, construction, medicine, aerospace and defense, utilities, property management, and manufacturing.
  • Because the headset offers hands-free connectivity, the company claims that it can improve efficiency and safety in hands-on jobs.

Mira History


Mira Products

  • Mira's Prism headset is a "minimalist, untethered AR headset [that] works seamlessly with [the user's] smartphone to allow users to engage in AR applications without the traditionally high barriers to entry." Users download an app to their smartphone, from which they control the images and capabilities of the headset.
  • A variety of software solutions are available for use with the Prism, including remote assistance, remote desktop, camera, scanner, work instructions, task list, and more.
  • Mira also offers a software developer kit so that developers can utilize the Prism as a platform on which they can develop new AR-based applications.

Mira Funding

  • Through three funding rounds, Mira has obtained US$6,500,000 in total funding.

Mira Claims


Mira Team


Your research team employed the following strategy:

To locate the requested data on Mink and Mira, we conducted three distinct research approaches. First, we conducted an exhaustive review of the companies' websites and associated company-produced materials, such as press releases. Second, we conducted a search of third-party databases, such as Crunchbase. Third, we conducted a generalized press search to find third-party media reports regarding the companies. Through some combination of these approaches, we found all requested data aside from the amount of total funding received by Mink. Crunchbase, where funding data is typically recorded, does not list any
funding data for the company. This may be because, as Business Insider has reported, the company's co-founder and CEO has refused to solicit venture capital funding and has simply financed the company herself.
Sources
Sources

From Part 03
From Part 04