NextVR has become one of the leaders in 360 degree streaming over the past year, and the company is now attracting attention on a global scale.
Variety is reporting that Chinese investment group CITIC Guoan has bought a $20 million stake in the company, nearly matching the massive $30.5 million it had previously raised as part of a funding round back in November 2015. That said, the company apparently still hopes to raise another $80 million going forward. CITIC Guoan bought Class B shares in NextVR, which reportedly represents 2.3 percent of the total equity of the company. The move was made to help establish “direct connections” to the VR sector.
NextVR has been making headlines throughout 2015 and 2016 thanks to high-profile partnerships with the likes of FOX Sports and broadcasting major events such as last year’s Democratic Debate and even the keynote speech from the Oculus Connect 2015 Developer Conference. Not all of these broadcasts have been a raving success, but they’ve made for important steps towards the future of VR livestreaming.
The company has a solution that allows headset owners to instantly be transported to live events, looking around a scene with a full 360 degree view as if they were really there. So far Oculus and Samsung’s Gear VR has been the primary headset used for these broadcasts, but hopefully the company will branch out further to the likes of the Oculus Rift, PlayStation VR and HTC Vive soon.
Expect to see much more from NextVR going forward, especially as VR filming tech continues to improve and make essential features like 3D and positional tracking much more viable. In fact it’s a surprise – and a shame – to learn that NextVR won’t be streaming the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro next month. For that, NBC has teamed up with Samsung itself to offer 85 hours of footage that won’t be livestreamed.
It kind of feels like a missed opportunity, doesn’t it?