If 2016 is going to be the “Year of VR,” then 2015 is the year it got funded.
2015 was an incredible year for virtual reality and it will be forever known as the year of the VR early adopter. These incredible, early adopters shaped this nascent industry from pure enthusiasts and developers to actual consumer adopters. This year was built by developers creating content for unreleased consumer-grade headsets, enthusiasts for demoing to friends, family and strangers, champion investors for believing in the future and increasing their investments in VR throughout the year and last but not least, Samsung and Oculus having shipped the first consumer-grade VR headset on the market.
As the year draws to a close, we wanted to highlight every bold new company building for virtual reality and demonstrate how much the industry has grown in the past year. These graphs include every VR company that we found has gotten funding in 2015 (and have gotten press), with a grand total of $384,192,000. We excluded acquisitions since the majority of them were undisclosed.
The first half of the year saw minimal investments. Rothenberg Ventures took the first plunge investing ~100K into multiple VR startups taking the first plunge and voicing their belief in the future of the industry. It wasn’t until June that we saw a huge spike in investment and served as a catalyst for high investment dollars the rest of the year. There was a natural drop in December because of holidays, but expect January 2016 to pick back up again.
|Company||Amount Funded in 2015|
|Two Bit Circus||$6,500,000.00|
|Virtual Reality Showroom**||$20,000.00|
* Companies received ~$100K as part of the Rothenberg Ventures River Frontier Technology 3 month program
** Companies received ~20K as part of the Boost.VC Tribe 6 accelerator for Bitcoin & VR
This chart displays the amount of money invested into 74 VR companies in 2015. Thus, the total amount of funding for some companies is not represented. If some companies appear twice, it’s because they raised multiple rounds in various months.
Jaunt by far has raised the most money this year ($65M), trailed by NextVR ($35M), CCP Games ($30M) and Matterport ($30M). The smaller investments are from Rothenberg Ventures River program (noted by *), Boost.VC’s Tribe 6 (noted by **) and one from YC Fellowship (ConVRge).
Big toast to everyone in the VR industry in 2015! Remember, these are the “Good Old Days” and together let’s make 2016 the year that VR reaches tens of millions of people!
Sophia Dominguez is the founder of AllThingsVR (allthingsvr.co), a weekly curated newsletter of the top VR news, innovators and content. She is also the Entrepreneur in Residence at Rothenberg Ventures for their second River Class.