Steven Spielberg-backed Virtual Reality Company Raises $23 Million

by Ian Hamilton • June 10th, 2016

You may not have heard of The Virtual Reality Company yet, but you wouldn’t have heard of Universal Studios or Disney before watching one of the films made by those companies.

That’s where VRC, an L.A.-based startup, is when it comes to VR. The company consists of only about a dozen people right now, but it counts Steven Spielberg among its shareholders and one of the company’s first projects was for Ridley Scott’s The Martian.

The Martian VR Marketing_DTR

An image from The Martian VR, a 20-minute experience inspired by the movie of the same name.

The company co-founded by two-time Academy Award-winning director Robert Stromberg and entertainment executive Guy Primus is today announcing VRC received $23 million in a large financing round. The money will help the company pursue what Primus called “tentpole” VR projects — “things we think that are going to help establish the medium.”

“We’re not learning right now,” Primus said in an interview with UploadVR. “We’re implementing what we already knew.”

The money will allow the company to go into production on some projects, which are a mixture of things for other studios, as well as independent ideas. Little is known about these projects, Primus said, because they’re waiting for platforms like Google Daydream and PlayStation VR to arrive so they can reach the largest audience possible with their content. Among the company’s slate of projects is a “family-oriented VR program” created with Spielberg.

“We want to have a critical mass of content,” Primus said. “We’re building a future version of a studio.”

The investment includes money from Hengxin Mobile Business Co., Ltd., a Beijing-based mobile services and technology provider that gives VRC access to China for distribution of its content. Other VRC investors include Metallica lead singer James Hetfield, Rothenberg Ventures, and Elementum Ventures.

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