Move marks venture studio's entry into VR "from the inside out", rising to meet demand from brands seeking to harness the new medium
SAN FRANCISCO, Feb. 22, 2016 /PRNewswire/ - Axiom Zen, an award-winning venture studio, has announced the acquisition of Hammer & Tusk, a Canada-based authority on virtual and augmented reality. Hammer & Tusk will continue to operate as an independent entity run by its founder, Mack Flavelle, and will leverage Axiom Zen's design, engineering, and product teams.
Virtual and augmented reality are hurtling toward the mainstream: a recent study found that 75% of Forbes Most Valuable Brands are currently creating, or investing in, virtual reality. The strategic move by Axiom Zen was prompted by increased demand from partners – including luxury brands and entertainment startups – seeking to harness VR for consumer markets.
Axiom Zen founder Roham Gharegozlou said, "People are starting to understand that VR and AR will dramatically transform how consumers interact with businesses, as well as with each other. By joining forces with Hammer & Tusk, Axiom Zen is entering the market from the inside out."
Founded by game industry veteran Mack Flavelle, Hammer & Tusk is a leading community focused around virtual and augmented reality. Having first established itself as a trusted news source with a loyal following of industry insiders, Hammer & Tusk now encompasses an experimental variety show (recently profiled in Vice), invite-only events, a podcast, and a consulting arm.
"Immersive content will fundamentally evolve nearly all industries. Our goal has been to predict, map, and facilitate that evolution," said Mack Flavelle, Hammer & Tusk founder. "Working with Axiom Zen means access to top talent and the best partners – letting us make bigger bets, and increasing our odds of success by orders of magnitude."
Axiom Zen is an award-winning venture studio that builds prototypes, products, and companies at the cutting edge of technology. Their work spans diverse verticals – including SaaS & enterprise software (ZenHub); talent/recruiting (Talera); and logistics/delivery (Routific). Products built by Axiom Zen have been included in "Best of the Year" lists (Apple; The Next Web) and covered by TIME Magazine, NYTimes.com, USA Today, and Wired, among others.
About Mack Flavelle, Founder Hammer & Tusk
Mack Flavelle is the founder of Hammer & Tusk, the authority on virtual reality. Prior to entering the world of VR and AR, Mack was the CEO of gaming outfit Compass Engine (acquired by East Side Games), and served as VP of Marketing at Tapstream (a marketing suite for mobile apps used by Microsoft, Rosetta Stone, and Twitch). Mack serves as advisor to CareLedger, a Y Combinator-backed digital health startup.
About Roham Gharegozlou, Founder Axiom Zen
Roham Gharegozlou is an entrepreneur, angel investor, and former venture capitalist. Prior to founding Axiom Zen, Roham sourced innovative startups with the Rising Tide Fund as a partner focused on seed-stage investments; he also worked with Newbury Ventures, a tech venture fund based in Redwood Shores. Roham's angel investment portfolio includes customer communication leader Intercom and sales technology platform Tout among others.
About Hammer & Tusk
Hammer & Tusk is the leading community of insiders driving Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality into the mainstream. We build products, craft bespoke experiences, and curate conversation in the immersive entertainment space. Through a vibrant online community, invite-only events across North America, and from inside the mask, Hammer & Tusk is accelerating the movement of VR toward the mass market.
About Axiom Zen
Axiom Zen is an award-winning venture studio; we build prototypes, products, and companies at the cutting edge of technology.
Axiom Zen-built products have been covered by TIME, USA Today, The New York Times, Fast Co, and Wired. Our team of fifty founder-types combine a wealth of experience from fast-growing startups and companies like Apple, Tesla Motors, Facebook, and Google. Current companies include: Timeline (Best Apps of 2015, App Store), Routific (Techstars 2015), and ZenHub.
SOURCE Axiom Zen