With 27 VRVCA member VCs in attendance, 12 startup teams from Asia, Europe, North America and South America were present to showcase their VR/AR related offerings. The presenting startups spanned wide-ranging areas, including location based entertainment, hardware accessories, sports/fitness, enhanced UI, music/films, and of course, immersive gaming. Whereas the previous two meetings focused mostly on investment opportunities surrounding foundational technologies and tools, this meeting emphasized device and content innovation, with the products discussed mostly targeting VR end-users. The marked shift in the conversation suggests that investment opportunities in the VR industry are expanding into the consumer market and that the growing maturity of the industry is opening up the possibility of everyday applications for VR products.
If 2016 was considered to be Year One for VR hardware, then 2017 is on track to become the year of VR application explosion. VR content is expected to diversify into a variety of forms, leading to an enriched offering for home and business. Over the last several months, there is a clear trend of VR proliferation into new sectors beyond gaming into education, commerce, entertainment, industry and other segments.
"Innovation in the VR/AR industry is accelerating globally in 2017, and the new crop of startups being highlighted in this week's VRVCA meeting is a great example," said Alvin W. Graylin, China Regional President of Vive, HTC. "12 companies from around the world presented today, with content ranging from multi-player AAA gaming to cinematic VR, and hardware ranging from VR fitness machines to AR components. There are so many opportunities for startups as tons of problems still need solving in this new industry. It's a good time to be an investor as innovation is high and valuation is still reasonable, even in such a hot sector."
"I'm surprised to see so many startup teams coming from thousands of miles away to this Beijing meeting, and the quality of what they are showing is even more stunning," said Shintaro Yamakami, partner, Colopl VR Fund. "We've previously looked mainly at virtual reality tools, technologies and games, but this year we are also adding augmented reality to our target list."
"VR and AR are long-term trends and VRVCA presents the most cutting edge updates in the industry," said Jing Wu, partner, Qiming Venture Partners. "2016 was exciting, and 2017 is going to be a decisive year for VR startups. Only those solving real industry issues and matching real market demands will truly bloom and prosper."
As the world's largest VR investment alliance today, VRVCA comprises of 47 top investors across the world. With $17 billion total investible capital, VRVCA is designed to foster long-term growth in the VR industry by identifying, sharing, and investing in the world's most innovative and impactful VR/AR/MR technology and content companies. Working in conjunction with the Vive X Accelerator, it aims to get VCs on board to help startups grow faster, accelerating the advancement of the VR ecosystem as well as upstream and downstream players along the VR value chain and promoting the development of the VR industry at large. Not only is VRVCA pioneering a new model of collaboration between the VR ecosystem and VCs, but VRVCA is also shattering the traditional competitive model by enlisting VCs to join hands and help usher in a promising future for the VR industry. In fact almost half the presenting teams were recommended by member VCs.
"This third VRVCA investment meeting was a really great experience, where startup teams got to present their accomplishments and exchange insights," said Siming Cao, CEO, PP Gun VR. "The VRVCA helps to push forward the evolution of the VR industry by putting so many great VCs and startups together. I personally find this to be extremely efficient because it allows us to put our effort into what really matters, our innovation."
Although this meeting has only just concluded, preparations for the fourth VRVCA meeting, to be held in San Francisco at the end of April, is already in full swing. Starting from today, VR innovation teams can sign up to participate in the meeting on the official website (http://www.vrvca.com/submit). The application deadline for startups to present is March 31st, 2017.
About the Vive Virtual Reality System
Vive is a first-of-its-kind virtual reality system developed in partnership by HTC and Valve. Designed from the ground up for room-scale VR, Vive allows true-to-life interactions and experiences thanks to an adjustable headset displaying stunning graphics, two wireless controllers with HD haptic feedback and 360˚ absolute motion tracking. For a convenient and safe experience, Vive incorporates essential functionality from your phone and features a front facing camera that blends physical elements into the virtual world. Working in concert, this system immerses you visually, physically and emotionally in the virtual world. For more information on Vive, please visit www.vive.com.
HTC Corporation aims to bring brilliance to life. As a global innovator in smart mobile and virtual reality devices and technology, HTC has produced award-winning products and industry firsts since its inception in 1997, including the critically acclaimed HTC One and HTC Desire lines of smartphones, and is now leading the VR industry with the Vive line of products. The pursuit of brilliance is at the heart of everything we do, inspiring best-in-class design and game-changing mobile and virtual reality experiences for consumers around the world. HTC is listed on the Taiwan Stock Exchange (TWSE: 2498). www.htc.com.
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SOURCE HTC Vive