NextVR, the leader in live-action virtual reality broadcast technology, announced a $30.5 million Series A funding round with participation from the biggest names in sports and entertainment. These strategic relationships will help NextVR introduce a range of live virtual reality programs, including professional sports, concerts, award shows and other events.
Investors in the Series A round include:
- •Time Warner Investments, the strategic investing arm of Time Warner Inc., a global leader in media and entertainment with businesses in television networks and film and TV entertainment, including Turner, HBO and Warner Bros.;
- •Comcast Ventures, the venture capital affiliate of Comcast Corporation;
- •Peter Guber, Chairman and CEO of Mandalay Entertainment, co-owner of the Golden State Warriors, Los Angeles Dodgers and Los Angeles FC, and Chairman of dick clark productions;
- •RSE Ventures, a sports and entertainment venture firm co-founded by Stephen M. Ross and Matt Higgins operating and investing in new technologies and companies such as the International Champions Cup and the Miami Dolphins;
- •The Madison Square Garden Company, a world leader in live sports and entertainment with a portfolio of legendary sports teams, exclusive entertainment productions and celebrated venues; and
- •dick clark productions, the world's largest producer and proprietor of televised live event entertainment programming.
The funding round was led by Formation 8, a firm with a proven track record of successful investments in virtual reality. Brian Koo, a founding member of Formation 8 and an early investor, technical advisor and board observer in Oculus prior to its sale to Facebook, will join NextVR's board of directors.
"This first-class group of investors is a major validation of our virtual reality technology platform," said Brad Allen, Executive Chairman, NextVR. "We are focused on delivering a great virtual reality experience and the key is great content. These investments reflect the relationships we are building to provide marquee content."
NextVR's VR platform will be accessible on every major virtual reality head-mounted display – including those by Oculus, Samsung, Sony, HTC and others – delivering unprecedented live and on-demand experiences in virtual reality. NextVR has proven its live broadcast platform with the NBA, NHL, NASCAR, CNN (the Democratic Presidential Debates) and Coldplay's Ghost Stories Virtual Reality Concert Experience.
On Oct. 27, NextVR partnered with the NBA and Turner Sports to present live, in virtual reality, the opening night match-up between the 2015 NBA Champion Golden State Warriors and the New Orleans Pelicans.
"For virtual reality to really start taking off – and we expect it will in 2016 – there must be great content delivered through great technology," said Formation 8's Koo. "Experiencing an NBA game in virtual reality is like sitting in floor seats at center court. You feel as if you are there."
"NextVR is at the forefront of a transformative technology that is revolutionizing how live-action content will be consumed," said Scott Levine, Managing Director, Time Warner Investments, who will be joining NextVR as a board observer. "We are thrilled to be a part of an experience that consumers will really love and excited about the opportunities ahead."
Founded in 2009, NextVR previously raised $5.5 million.
About NextVR: NextVR enables the transmission of live, long-form virtual reality content in broadcast quality – leading the way for live and on-demand VR to become a mainstream experience for sporting events, concerts, cinematic productions and more. Launched in 2009, NextVR has more than 26 patents granted or pending for the capture, compression, transmission, and display of virtual reality content. NextVR's platform allows the fully immersive content to be streamed with pristine quality using current home and mobile Internet connections. NextVR was founded by veterans in stereoscopic imaging technology, software development and an award-winning filmmaker. For more information, go to www.nextvr.com.