It is evident the virtual reality sector is of great interest to both consumers and investors right now. The list of VR-oriented companies on platforms such as Crunchbase continues to grow at an unprecedented rate. While not all of these companies are successful, it is not hard to find the market leaders either. Rest assured the “rankings” can change at any given moment as startups and enterprises continually jockey for a better position.
One of the many companies focusing on bringing top-notch virtual reality content to the masses goes by the name of NextVR. The company is focusing its attention on both live and on-demand VR content. This extends to sporting events, concerts, and even cinematic productions. The company has been around since 2009, which makes them well worth keeping an eye on. To date, NextVR raised $115.5m over the course of three funding rounds. The company’s Series B funding brought in US$80m in August of 2016.
A handful of companies focus on building a virtual reality interface so people can move freely in their favorite games. One of those companies goes by the name of Virtuix. Since its inception in February of 2013, the company has raised $16.08m in equity funding. Its most successful round of funding was the recent equity crowdfunding campaign in August in 2016, bringing in US$7.7m. Virtuix is currently developing the Omni interface for virtual reality, allowing players to fully immerse themselves in a virtual reality environment rather than sitting down while wearing a VR headset.
4. Linden Lab
Most gamers will be familiar with the name Linden lab, as the company created the massively popular Second Life gaming platform several years back. Ever since that time, Linden lab has been working hard on making a name for themselves sin the virtual reality sector. A new platform for virtual experiences – codenamed Project Sansar – is in development as we speak. The end goal is to use virtual reality as a creative medium moving forward. Linden lab has raised $19m in two separate funding rounds since its inception in 1999, the latest of which took place in March of 2006.
Most people may not have heard of the Livelike platform just yet, but that is only a matter of time. This company specializes in on-demand sports content in the virtual reality world. Broadcasters and teams can deliver immersive live sports viewing experiences. The platform powering this concept has been developed already and the company conducted a successful trial by broadcasting an MLS Cup game in VR on December 10, 2016. Livelike has raised $5.91m in funding so far, with US$5.01m coming in through their September 2016 Series A funding round.
One of the more intriguing companies in the VR scene to keep an eye on comes in the form of Matterport. The company’s business model revolves around creating realistic 3d models of the world around them. Their technology will herald a new era of engaging photography that keeps costs to a bare minimum and provides a lot of convenience at the same time. Matterport raised $61m over the course of 6 different funding rounds and even acquired the Virtual Walkthrough company for an undisclosed amount in July of 2016.
It has to be said, Lytro has been quite successful when it comes to raising large amounts of funding over the past few years. In fact, they raised $210.75m in 6 rounds, with the Series D funding, bringing in US$60m in February of this year. The company expanded into virtual reality as of 2015, with a strong focus on cinematography and industrial applications. All of their efforts are powered by the company’s proprietary Light Field imaging technology.
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