UploadVR Raises $1.25 Million Led by Shanda Group

by Will Mason • December 16th, 2015

A little over a year ago we started UploadVR with a simple mission to bring inspiring virtual reality experiences to the masses. We were instantly converted the first moment we interacted with the technology and that passion fueled a fire that allowed us to continue to grow into a thriving community of virtual reality enthusiasts, but our vision has always been grander. We want to impact civilization in a substantive way, using immersive technology to create positive change in the world. Today we are one step closer to that goal but know there is still a long road ahead.

We are pleased to announce we closed a $1.25 million dollar seed funding round. The round was led by Shanda Group, a $8 billion Chinese venture capital firm chaired by Tianqiao Chen, a games industry veteran and the mind behind the first-ever “free to play” games business model. The company has been actively investing across the VR/AR industry chain to build a complete ecosystem and to facilitate interconnectivity within the industry. Previous investments include Solfar Studios, an Icelandic VR game developer along with some U.S. based VR/AR companies.

“Having followed the development of VR technology since the 1990s, we strongly believe that our dream of building an immersive virtual world finally has a chance to really come true with the direction the industry and technologies are moving and the speed at which they are progressing. UploadVR’s platform is critical in increasing consumer awareness and bringing the virtual world closer to consumer adoption,” said Tianqiao Chen, founder, Chairman and CEO at Shanda Group.

In addition to the Shanda Group, UploadVR’s strategic angel investors and advisors include:

  • Joe Kraus, partner at Google Ventures
  • Philip Rosedale, founder of Second Life
  • Tony Parisi, co-creator of VRML
  • Greg Castle, a seed-investor in Oculus
  • Sunny Dhillon, VR expert and partner at SignaVC

With the investment, UploadVR will retain full control over the content on the site and will continue to operate with a high standard for editorial ethics. To put it simply, we won’t be saying nice things about companies because we are told to or because someone pays us. UploadVR is still our company and publication, this money just gives us the chance to make it bigger and better for you all!

Over the next year, UploadVR will continue to foster the growth of the industry with a number of new initiatives, including expanding editorial and a number of events to be announced in the months to come.

READ MORE: UploadVR, A Year In Review

In addition to these events, we will be expanding our efforts with the Jobs portion of the site. We have been told by nearly every one of the development teams that we have spoken with over the last year that talent has been one of the hardest things to find. With our talent portal, we hope to play an integral role in building the teams that will create the future of AR and VR.

As they say, however, it takes a village. For the last few months, Roarke Clinton and Ian Hamilton have been working with us closely on user experience and editorial, building new user interfaces and writing a number of awesome articles and getting some great scoops. We are thrilled to have them both on board full-time!!

Moving into 2016 we need a few more awesome individuals with the same kind of burning passion for the ways VR and AR can positively impact our world to join our growing team. We are based in San Francisco but open to remote work. Here are a few of the positions we are looking to fill:

Games Editor

Do you love games? Like really, really, really love games? Do you enjoy traveling to conferences and meeting amazing people? If the answer is yes, keep reading.

We are looking for an experienced video games journalist to help direct our coverage of the VR gaming scene. You must be quick with you fingers, both on the controller and on the keyboard. You will be responsible for occasionally managing a small team of contributing authors, scheduling as well as producing high-quality content on a daily basis.

The ideal candidate will be a self-starter with video editing and production experience, as well as an established record of excellence in the games journalism field. While not required, being based in the San Francisco Bay Area is also a huge plus.

UK-Based Staff Writer

Do you sip Earl Gray while reading the morning news on your Samsung Gear VR? Is your love for VR only surpassed by your love for writing? Then this may be for you.

We are looking for an experienced journalist with a passion for emerging technology to work with our editorial staff in the US to help grow our global coverage. As our emissary on the other end of the pond, you will play a major role in the publication as it grows. This position comes with plenty of opportunity for paid travel to conferences, and the chance to get early looks at some amazing content.
You must be quick with a pen and a self-starter who isn’t afraid to hunt for interesting stories to cover. A deep technical knowledge of the industry is a huge plus, but the ability to translate that knowledge to a non-technical audience is even more so.

Senior Web Developer (Lead Technologist)

Q: Why do computer programmers always confuse Halloween with Christmas?

A: Because Oct 31 == Dec 25

If you understand that joke, probably worth reading on. 🙂

We are looking for a rockstar, bug-squashing, caffeine addicted, senior-level web developer to join the team and lead our development efforts. Expertise in WordPress, JavaScript (WebGL is a major plus), PHP/Ruby/Python, MySQL and everything else typical of full-stack web dev is a must. You will be our Luke in times of crisis, and Yoda in times of exploration. You will be working closely with designers, marketers, and operators to execute on business objectives at a rapid clip. A passion for creating an ultra-polished user experience is essential.

Lead Event Producer

Do you love the feeling of bringing people together and showing them a good time? Are you obsessed with details, scheduling, and making lists? If so, we’d love to talk with you about running point on our events division. The ideal candidate has a wealth of experience in event production, marketing, sales and management and has a burning desire to push forward VR and AR technology.

Lead Recruiter

Are you deeply connected in the gaming and tech industry? Do you have a keen eye for hot talent? Is your LinkedIn game on point? If so, let’s talk about how we can help VR and AR companies connect with world-class talent.

If you are interested in learning more about any of these positions please shoot us an email at [email protected].

If you are interested in freelance work please fill out this application.

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Our aim is to connect the growing waves of consumers interested in mixed reality technologies with the information and experiences they want and need. An army of talented artists, innovative engineers, and thought-provoking researchers are exploring technologies that will, we believe, change us all. UploadVR will help navigate that changing landscape and facilitate connections to nurture the things which have so inspired us about AR and VR. We can’t wait to continue sharing the future with you all, 2016 is going to be one hell of a year.

With love,

Will Mason & Taylor Freeman

Co-Founders, UploadVR

PS. If you are going to be at CES and want to celebrate VR, join us on Thursday, Jan 7th for a night of fun!

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