We already knew that HTC was dedicating a lot of resources to help accelerate VR’s growth, but it looks like the company has taken a big step forward in this area today.
Taking to the stage at this week’s GSMA Mobile World Congress in Shanghai, HTC Vive has announced the Virtual Reality Venture Capital Alliance (VRVCA), which brings together 28 VR investment companies under one banner looking to help fund startup companies working in VR as well as augmented and mixed reality too. Along with HTC Vive itself, names include the likes of Immersion Ventures, The VR Fund, and Colopl VR Fund. The group’s president is Alvin Wang Graylin, the President of VR at HTC China itself.
According to the group’s official site there’s a staggering $10 billion in “deployable capital” between the investors, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that all of this money will be distributed between companies that pitch. It just means that money could be used to invest in those startups.
VRVCA will be meeting six times a year – once every two months – at offices in both Beijing and San Francisco. Hopeful startups from around the world will be able to pitch their companies in the hope of gaining some much needed investment. The site states that anyone working on VR content, base technologies, tools, platforms, hardware, peripherals, accessories or other vertical applications can apply, and it’s already possible to submit a pitch deck. We’re not sure when the first meeting will get underway, however.
Essentially, this gives entrepreneurs a great chance to give their company the spotlight, and also brings interesting new ideas and groups straight to the doors of the investors that might be interested in them. Think of it as a VR version of Shark Tank (or Dragon’s Den for the UK audience); you’ll get to pitch to a wide range of investors and those interested will work something out with you. Anyone that does pitch will need to include details like a full team background, market opportunity, and plans for monetization.
The announcement seems like an expansion of HTC’s own Vive X accelerator concept, which was announced at the end of April 2016. This is a $100 million accelerator fund that companies can apply to get a piece of, with offices in Beijing, Taipei and San Francisco to help incubate growth.
That’s a lot more money that could potentially be injected into the VR, AR and MR ecosystems. Hopefully we’ll start seeing the benefits in the very near future.