Seattle-based startup Vreal raised an $11.7 million Series A round of funding for its VR broadcasting platform.
Vreal is a bit like Twitch for VR. You can record an experience and relive it with friends or family later. You could also share it publicly and let everyone relive the moment. You can even broadcast live with others in your space invisibly watching you like ghosts. The recording includes the environment, movement of players, their interactions and voices so the moment can be revisited. Ebenezer Scrooge walking through a memory with the Ghost of Christmas Past is a pretty close analogy to how Vreal captures VR experiences and allows you to relive them with someone else. Support is also planned for voice chat with live VR viewers.
Vreal is initially integrating with Gorn, Arizona Sunshine, Surgeon Simulator and Superhot. The service is in a closed testing phase now, but you can express your interest via a Google form. The company aims to offer a wider testing release this summer.
Vreal currently employs 24 people and they’re hiring. The funding round is meant to help them launch Vreal’s platform and continue refining the tools. Above is an image captured from Vreal’s website showing the range of features they hope to enable for developers and creators. The features range from VR replays — essentially reliving a moment — to multi-camera setups designed to capture just the right angle for an edited 2D video.
This round brings the startup’s total funding raised to $15 million. The funding round is led by Axioma Ventures, with Intel Capital and Akatsuki Entertainment Technology Fund joining existing investors including Upfront Ventures, Vulcan Capital and Youku. Former Valve VR team member Chet Falisek is joining Vreal’s board representing Axioma. Chris M. Williams, founder and CEO of kids’ media company pocket.watch, is also joining Vreal’s board.
“VR is an immersive medium, and Vreal is the only way for viewers to step inside someone else’s VR gameplay and enjoy VR content the way it’s meant to be experienced.” said Todd Hooper, Founder and CEO of Vreal, in a prepared statement. “Immersive virtual worlds are the future of gaming, and we’re building the highway that will take viewers to curated gameplay experiences, all alongside their friends and favorite gaming personalities.”
Here’s a video of Cas and Chary VR testing an early version of Vreal: