One of the most contentious areas of the virtual reality industry right now is the realm of Social VR. It’s a mad race right now to see who can perfect a solution the best first and we’ve seen countless approaches thus far. However, one of the most elegant and shockingly effective versions comes from a small Seattle-based startup called Pluto VR. Recently, the company announced the closing of a $13.9M Series A funding round led by Maveron.
We took a look at the program last year and came away impressed with how easily and effectively it connects people. Whereas the likes of Altspace or VRChat ask you to silo yourself into a dedicated experience just to talk to others, Pluto acts more like an overlay. While I’m playing Arizona Sunshine I could talk to and see your avatar while you play Superhot. We can both go into Google Earth, stand in the same spot, and feel like we’re occupying digital space together.
The large cash infusion is intended to help the studio continue hiring more staff, iterating on their development, and rolling it out to more users for testing over time. In addition to Maveron, the funding was made possible with participation from Madrona Venture Group of Seattle, Trilogy Equity Partners of Bellevue and other individual investors, according to Geekwire.
Pluto VR is trying to put itself in a position to be the de facto way for people to communicate across VR experiences. It can turn anything into a social gathering and it provides an accessible way for people to stay connected. Crowning it as the “Skype of VR” is a bit premature, but that appears to be what they’re building towards.
Have you tried Pluto VR yet? You can sign up to try the Alpha or apply to join the team on the company’s official website. Let us know what you think in the comments below!