Virtual reality headset gets investment to speed up development
Oculus VR, maker of the anticipated Oculus Rift VR gaming headset, has secured $16 million in Series A funding.
The round was co-led by Spark Capital and Matrix Partners. Santo Politi, founder and general partner at Spark, and Antonio Rodriguez, serial entrepreneur and general partner at Matrix, have joined the company’s board of directors. Founders Fund as well as Formation 8 also participated in the round.
Oculus plans to use the funds to accelerate the development of its virtual reality hardware, software and services, and ultimately create a virtual reality platform for consumers.
“Oculus began with a single mission: to put players inside the game,” said Palmer Luckey, founder of Oculus VR and inventor of the Oculus Rift.
“This investment allows us to deliver immersive and affordable virtual reality to players everywhere.”
Oculus garnered lots of attention when it debut at last year’s E3. Oculus has since manufactured and shipped the Rift development kits purchased in its Kickstarter campaign, allowing game developers to create Oculus-ready applications and interactive content.
“With the recent console announcements and the advent of stronger mobile technology, we’re watching the video game industry keenly,” said Politi.
“In our estimation, Oculus is one of the only companies in the space with something completely new and disruptive. They have the right team, capital and vision to take virtual reality beyond console gaming and into everyday computing.”
Rodriguez added: “In this business, there are only a few rare companies that can so perfectly embody the future you read about in science fiction novels. What Palmer, Brendan and the team are building at Oculus so closely matches the Metaverse, we had to be part of it. Working with them to get this platform to market at scale will be enormously exciting.”
Spark Capital has previous backed other forward-thinking tech ventures, which have subsequently gained massive popularity, including Twitter and Tumblr. Matrix Partners’ achievements include early investments in some of the world’s most successful technology companies, such as Apple, SanDisk and others.
“What better way to mark our first anniversary than to announce our next phase of growth,” said Brendan Iribe, CEO of Oculus VR.
“There are still many challenging problems to solve, but with the support of these great investment partners, and our passionate community, we will continue to hire the brightest minds and stay laser focused on delivering the very best virtual reality platform possible.”
Oculus VR originally raised over $2.4 million through its Kickstarter campaign – almost ten times its fundraising goal.
Development kits are currently doing the rounds, but no commercial release date has been set for the product.