VR investment ramps up | Media Investment | Business | News | Rapid TV News
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Virtual reality (VR) gained investor confidence this week, with major funding developments.

virtual reality 5 august 2017First, Greycroft venture partner Jon Goldman said that he would be contributing funding to the GC VR Gaming Tracker Fund to work on virtual reality, augmented reality, games and esports, broken down into smaller investments ranging from $50,000 to $500,000 per start-up.

“AR, VR, video games and e-sports continue to grow tremendously and spawn entirely new user experiences and industries,” Goldman told GamesBeat. “Through our investments, we can help these start-ups reach the next stage of market adoption. We are committed to helping new teams, not only through capital, but also with connections and strategic advice.”

Goldman has already made 20 investments in since early last year, totalling around $4 million in all, including funding for Mindshow, LiveLike, SliverTV, Littlstar, UploadVR and FanAI.

“Jon understood the vision of our company, supported us enthusiastically and evangelized us to fellow investors to help us to fill our round quickly,” said Gil Baron, cofounder and CEO of Mindshow, which has a platform that lets anyone create interactive, animated VR.

Goldman’s enthusiasm is not confined to his own independent activities, either. “We have been working together for four years and are excited to dive deeper into VR, AR, e- sports and video gaming with an operator like Jon who has lived in the space for years,” said Dana Settle, co-founder and partner of Greycroft, in a statement. “We have already co-invested with Tracker in a number of companies and believe this sector-specific approach will help us develop expertise and relationships in these quickly emerging ecosystems.”

Meanwhile, VR content network Inception has announced a $15 million Series A funding round led by RTL Group. The company says that it will use the funding to expand its content catalogue, enhance its technology platform and accelerate growth.

Consumers can discover and experience global VR content on Inception’s app, including original programming created with publishers and rights owners, channels of serialised interactive content and curated third-party content. Launched in October 2016, Inception has apps for Oculus Rift, Samsung Gear, iOS, Android, Google Daydream and HTC Vive, with Microsoft Windows Mixed Reality and Sony PSVR coming soon.

“VR is an incredible new entertainment medium and a fantastic opportunity for brands and talents to tell their stories and engage their audience as never before,” Arbel said. “Our unique combination of great technology and content will make VR more accessible and enjoyable for audiences around the world. Together, RTL Group and Inception can play a key role in shaping that experience by combining our expertise in content creation, episodic storytelling and immersive technology to take audiences to the next level.”

The interest in VR and related fields continues, with research from the BBC showing that the medium will be important as younger audiences move away from traditional media. The BBC, which recently launched a free VR app for Android and iOS platforms, said that VR has the potential to add plenty of value to people’s media habits. However, key obstacles remain, including the need for better curation and content discovery, and a higher supply of quality content. It also said that there needs to be greater consistency and open standards in what is currently a fragmented market.