The Virtual Reality Company secures $23m funding from Chinese investor
The Virtual Reality Company (VRC), a VR content company co-founded by filmmaker Robert Stromberg, has raised $23 million funding from a Chinese investor as part of a large equity-financing round.
The funds will be used toward producing original virtual reality content and positioning VRC as “the premier VR storyteller and industry leader,” the company said in a statement.
Founded and managed by two-time Academy Award-winning director Robert Stromberg and entertainment industry executive Guy Primus, VRC is a producer of first-class VR content, including the critically-acclaimed tentpole VR experience, The Martian VR Experience, a 20-minute interactive and fully immersive journey created for the 20th Century Fox Innovation Lab.
“VR is no longer just a dream of visionaries,” said Stromberg, chief creative officer at VRC. “Leaders across a number of industries, who months ago dismissed VR as a passing fad, are racing to participate in this rapidly evolving landscape. The assurance of VR’s longevity has never been more evident than it is today.
“The limitless potential of the technology has enabled us to unlock characters, dreamscapes and adventures that for decades have been captive thoughts of my imagination. We cannot wait to share these experiences with the world,” he added.
VRC already has several notable projects on its slate, including an original family-oriented VR program created with VRC advisor and shareholder, Steven Spielberg.
The timing of the investment is advantageous to VRC’s team of artists, storytellers and technicians, who are now able to execute exclusively on their creative ambition. The team is focused on delivering original, cinematic, story-driven experiences that will forever shape the marketplace and define VRC as a first-rate VR content studio and premium story-telling household brand.
The equity investment made by Hengxin Mobile Business Co., Ltd., a Beijing-based mobile services and technology provider, was a strategic decision, securing for VRC a platform for the distribution of its content in the greater China region.
“This recent injection of capital allows us to discover new creative territories and stake our claim in this exciting frontier,” Stromberg said.
Investors in VRC also include Metallica lead singer James Hetfield, Rothenberg Ventures, and Elementum Ventures. “We were approached by dozens of investors, but ultimately chose to accept investment from Hengxin because of the complementary nature of its operations,” said VRC CEO and co-founder, Guy Primus. “Hengxin opens up the world’s most populous country to us in ways that few western companies will be able to match.”
In addition to its in-house creative and VR technical teams, VRC has a significant competitive advantage in the creation of VR experiences through its partnership with Hollywood pre-visualization studio, The Third Floor, which is led by another VRC co-founder, Christopher Edwards.