Top Virtual Reality Investment Deals In 2014
1. Oculus VR (acquired by Facebook)
Thanks to Palmer Lucky, founder of Oculus VR, literally became the catalyst that kickstarted the VR revolution. With a 2 billion dollar acquisition by Facebook, Oculus is on the road to revolutionize virtual reality gaming and applications.
2. Nimble VR (acquired by Oculus)
Recently acquired by Oculus, Nimble VR specializes in developing a hand-tracking system that aims to optimize user experiences. With cutting edge technology, the company challenges computer vision and human-computer interaction problems in gesture recognition.
3. 13th Lab (acquired by Oculus)
13th Lab is another company acquired by Oculus VR in 2014. The company have developed technology that build upon the idea that the camera is the most important sensor for understanding and interacting with the world around us.
13th Lab’s PointCloud SDK is a development tool capable of Simultaneous Localization and Mapping (SLAM) along with image detection and tracking. The technology is super accuracy that NASA uses the same technology to map out unexplored areas. PointCloud SDK is also capable of taking a 2D image, and mapping it into a 3D environment.
One area 13th Lab was exploring was integrating the technology to create Minecraft Reality Maps. Minecraft Reality maps and tracks the world around you using the camera, and allows you to place Minecraft worlds in reality, and even save them in a specific location for others to view.”
Some examples of what you can do with 13th Lab’s technology:
4. Magic Leap
Magic Leap is a mysterious startup building a disruptive technology that would revolutionize the way people interact with images and information. We don’t really know what they do exactly, but they raised one of the largest VC rounds in history, a 542 million round of series B funding led by Google as well as tier-one VCs. Co-investors include Qualcomm, Legendary Pictures, Andreessen Horowitz, Obvious Ventures, and KPCB.
Altspace VR is a software company building the social platform for virtual reality. AltspaceVR users connect in virtual spaces to create shared experiences around anything on the web. Their API enables developers write simple web code to generate VR experiences. Users can watch streaming video, play games, and collaborate inside the virtual world.
AltspaceVR’s investors include Dolby Family Ventures, Formation 8, Google Ventures, Lux Capital, Foundation Capital, Rothenberg Ventures, SV Angel, Haystack Fund, Tencent, Raine Ventures, Promus Ventures, Startcaps, Maven Ventures and Western Technology Investment.
In September 2014, AltspaceVR announced its first round of seed funding at $5.2M.
With over one million dollars in their Kickstarter campain, Virtuix Omni is a VR interface allowing users to explore virtual worlds. Think about the Omni as a virtual reality treadmill that allows movements virtual world that creates sense of immersion.You can walk, run, jump, and turn swiftly and smoothly in 360 degrees without restraints.
Applications of locomotion in virtual reality stretch far beyond gaming: training and simulation, fitness, virtual tourism, virtual tradeshows and events, meet-ups and multi-person adventures, virtual workplaces, museums, VR architecture, VR concerts.and more
This is another Kickstarter success with the campaign closing at $1.1 million. In April 2014, Virtuix raised $3 million, and $2.7 million in December 2014. The company have raised over $7 million to date.
7. Leap Motion
Leap Motion is a global expanding company behind the technology that enables people to use finger and hand movements in the air to interact with computer and other devices. They are a market leader 3D motion and gesture control for PC and Mac.
Leap Motion received 12.75 million USD round series A funding in 2012, and a 30 million dollar USD round series B funding in 2013. With a retail price of $79.99, Leap Motion Controller can sense how users move hands, and allow user to control devices through point, wave, reach, and grab.
The rapid expanding Jaunt VR is a leader in cinematic VR technology, delivering a total-solution for creating cinematic VR experiences. They have developed its own camera and audio recording technology, as well as the rendering techniques to make high-quality immersive content.
In August 2014, Jaunt VR announced 28.5 million series B funding with a goal to scale its technology. Jaunt investors include Google Ventures, Redpoint Ventures, British Sky Broadcasting (Sky), Highland Capital, Peter Gotcher, and Blake Krikorian.