SAN FRANCISCO — Opal Camera Inc. has completed a $17 million Series A funding round led by Founders Fund, with continued participation from Kindred Ventures and other investors including tech creators Marques Brownlee and Casey Neistat.
“We founded Opal under a simple principle – that the products you use the most often should be the best things you own,” said Veeraj Chugh, CEO and co-founder of Opal.
The company’s first product was the Opal C1 webcam, the first professional webcam with DSLR quality. The product was borne out of an insight that modern workers were spending more time on their webcams than on their phone.
Nearly 60,000 people were on the waitlist for the C1 after its launch in December 2021, and the camera quickly became a favorite among designers and creators. In the two years since launch, the company has focused on quality, rewriting the camera firmware, and releasing a new software app, the Opal Composer.
“The honest truth is that we started Opal because we thought the market for webcams desperately needed better hardware,” said Chugh. “What we realized is that you can bring a lot of people joy by giving them usable, beautiful devices.”
With this latest round of funding, Opal is broadening its vision to include new cameras, as well as branching into other aspects of consumer electronics, a category that has seen little progress over the past decade.
“This funding allows us to grow both the short and long-term visions of Opal,” said Stefan Sohlstrom, co-founder of Opal. “We’re excited to further grow our camera business, but we’re also posing ourselves a fundamental question: what does a modern consumer electronics company look like, and what would it build?”
Opal’s expansion into new product lines is centered around the theme that new technologies shouldn’t be constrained to old form factors.
“Phones were perfect for helping us take the internet anywhere,” said Chugh. “But now we’re at the tipping point of a lot of new technologies, where our relationship with devices and information is going to change in meaningful ways.”
Opal’s next products are being built for singular, specific experiences like learning, capturing memories, and having meaningful conversations. Modern tools are built to do everything, but in the process miss the nuance and charm of specialized devices that Opal thinks are needed.
“We want Opal to build these new devices that give us an intimate way to use modern technologies,” said Sohlstrom. “Sony did something similar in the 1980’s, building new devices that changed our lives. They started with humble transistor radios, and we started with webcams.”
The company has raised $20 million to-date from investors including Will Ahmed, Carmine Arabia, Hugo Barra, Max Branzburg, Leigh Marie Braswell, Joshua Browder, Adam Bry, Jeremy Cai, Oliver Cameron, Ilter Canberk, Liam Casey, Surojit Chatterjee, Emilie Choi, Larry Chu, Soleio Cuervo, Matthew Dellavedova, Charlie & Dixie D’Amelio, Sara Dietschy, Hong Feng, Joe Gebbia, Kevin Gibbon, Ros Gold-Onwude, Manik Gupta, Drew Hanlen, Chad Hurley, Lydia Jett, Mike Krieger, Michelle Kwon, Kirk Lacob, Sahil Lavingia, Kevin Lin, Tobias Lütke, Charley Ma, Trevor McFedries, Matt Mullenweg, Zaza Pachulia, Carl Pei, Ryan Petersen, Anthony Pompliano, Gokul Rajaram, Karri Saarinen, Tim Young, Ed Zitron, 444 Capital, Acrew Capital, Automattic, Coalition Operators, Cherubic Ventures, Seven Seven Six, Shrug Capital and WSGR.