Dmitriy Razinkov/123RF

Disruption by Blockchain Part 13: Daniil Girdea – PiligrimXXI

  • 19 February 2018
  • Expert Insights

Our new Disruption by Blockchain series aims to highlight companies that are leveraging the incredible potential of blockchain technology to disrupt and revolutionize their industry. Through one on one interviews, we'll speak directly with industry leaders to cut beyond the hype and get directly to the heart of practical use cases and examples of how it will change the world, one industry at a time.

The following is an interview we recently had with Daniil Girdea, Founder of Arcona.

1. What’s the history of Piligrim XXI? How and where did you begin?

DG: The Arcona AR ecosystem is being developed by a professional team – Piligrim XXI. We have 5 years of experience in developing AR solutions, and Arcona is the natural extension of our passion and experience in AR.

Piligrim XXI has been working in the AR development market since 2013, enhancing tourism experience by providing an opportunity to time travel, to see how different historical places and events looked like in the bygone eras. In 2014, we launched the world’s first outdoor augmented reality park.

Currently, 8 augmented reality parks have been sold and are operating in 6 European countries.

2. Who are the founders and key team members?

Ilia Korguzalo, Project Leader, Strategy director and vision, Founder

Education: Degree in Economics; 9 years of experience as artist-restorer and heads experience at restoration laboratory of the Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography in Saint Petersburg, the Russian Academy of Sciences, 15+ years of experience in business development; Founder of a branding agency and travel magazine. Team role: project conceptualisation and management, design and market research.

Diana Sorina, CEO/CMO, Operations, Founder

Education: Degree in Economics; 12+ years of experience in marketing, branding, sales and PR. Co-Founder of a travel magazine.

Team role: marketing and sales.

Tatiana Chernih, PR, Founder

Education: Degree in Journalism; 12+ years of experience in journalism and PR.

Team role: leading researcher, PR.


Daniil Girdea, Founder, IR

6+ years of experience in working and investing in Real Estate & construction business.

Project role: Strategy manager, Sales, Fundraising.

3. What problem are you solving? Who are you solving it for? What is your solution to this problem?

DG: Imagine that there is no FB, Twitter, Instagram and other social networks. You are taking the pictures of your food, selfies, and the only way you can share your creativity is the screen of your mobile phone. That is what happens in the AR industry. Last year all big players like Google, Apple, Facebook launched their own platforms in AR. It means that today all the users of iPhone, for example, have the access to AR, can create their projects, but the technology provides just personal experience, and first, you need to scan the space with your phone before you can put any 3d object in the real world location. Our platform generates the Augmented Reality Layer on the entire surface of the planet.


=> From the end user point of view

Problem: There is no single space and tool for users to easily interact with augmented reality.

Solution: The Arcona Ecosystem creates a Digital Land – a layer of Augmented Reality, uniting the physical and virtual worlds into a single information environment that is perfectly linked to our real world. It is designed for interactive everyday user experience with augmented, virtual and mixed reality multimedia content in real-world locations.

In AR industry it is called ARCloud.

=> From the global AR market point of view

Problem: There are more than 10 AR platforms, each supporting just one specific AR-enabled device: only smartphones, only smart glasses, only AR headsets, only iPhones, only Android phones, etc. The market is entirely atomized, and a universal, cross-device ecosystem is necessary in order to make a fluid interaction between AR content developers, AR apps, content, and end users possible.

Solution: Arcona is a cross-platform solution and supports any device. We provide a shared experience and simultaneous use of devices. Users will be able to see and interact with virtual objects in real-world locations simultaneously and through different gadgets. We bring together developers and users, businesses and customers, and, most importantly, we erase borders between countries.

Our decentralized system will operate on every continent and give all participants of the ecosystem equal opportunities.

=> From the AR developer point of view

Problem: Indoor AR projects are easy to build, but outdoor AR projects present

a challenge, as developers must travel to the location in order to build it, which significantly increases expenses.

Solution: With Arcona tools you can accurately and remotely place augmented reality objects in a changing environment. No GPS – we use real-world objects as markers.

  • Arcona offers the ability to link virtual content with real landscapes anywhere, regardless of their size.
  • We have a universal augmented reality environment that connects developers and consumers.
  • Arcona visually combines virtual and real space which also adapts to user’s movements.

4. Why is your industry ripe for disruption?

Overview of the AR Market

The augmented and virtual reality markets are currently undergoing rapid growth

and are becoming one of the key drivers of the IT industry. According to a 2016 survey from Juniper Research, the market has a total volume of approx. USD 3 billion (with

1 billion of that in AR, and 2 billion in VR), and is expected to exceed USD 150 billion by 2020 (AR accounting for USD 115 billion).

All leading IT corporations are currently contributing to the growth of AR in some way. Google, Facebook, Apple and Samsung have announced AR platforms already

in development. Investments in AR are also exhibiting an upward trend. Between 2014 and 2016, the total volume of investments increased from USD 250,000 to USD 1.6 billion.

Examples of Deals Made in 2015/2016

Magic Leap raises a record round of funding in the AR market, receiving single USD 793.5 million from a pool of investors led by Alibaba. The company has an estimated value of USD 4.5 billion;

Google buys Eyefluence, a company developing AR/VR eye-tracking technology, for USD 14 million;

Apple buys Metaio, a company developing an AR platform, for USD 30 million;

DAQRI acquires ARToolworks, the developer of software for Hololens-style headsets, for USD 38 million;

PTC buys Vuforia, the developer of an AR platform, for USD 65 million.

AR Market Trends

Until 2016, the market dynamics were determined by companies providing SDKs for smartphones with standard cameras. Over the past few years, a large number of startups were bought by industry giants like Facebook, Google, and Apple.

Aurasma, Wikitude and market leader Vuforia all focus on computer vision and tracking flat images and single 3D objects in real time and space. In April 2017, Facebook and Snapchat announced they are developing an AR ecosystem for their users. Digi-Capital says the “platform war” has attracted market newcomers such

as WeChat, BaiDu, and Alibaba.

These technological trends are contactless positioning systems based on point clouds and the improvement of 3D marker recognition technologies, which recognize any object in the surrounding world.

The most notable events of the past year were:

The AR game Pokémon GO came to the market, becoming an international hit, and took augmented reality to a wide audience. The market cap for the game’s developer Nintendo went up $14.8 billion in a week after release.

Apple released its ARKit framework, making augmented reality an integral part of the iOS operating system. The toolkit is designed for developers and has great potential for bringing the technology to the mass market.

5. What’s the future of your industry?

DG: Computers will soon be more powerful than ever before. They will become an integral part of your everyday environment. Instead of logging into your computer or smartphone, you will be able to simply enter a room or go out into the street and manipulate the environment around you in whatever way you like without having to take a gadget out of your pocket. (Walt Mossberg)

Augmented Reality community will become the biggest community in the world in 2019. It will disrupt the television and the mobile phones that will disappear.

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