New Zealand- and San Francisco-based virtual reality startup 8i has raised a $13.5 million Series A round of funding from a large group of funders, including RRE Ventures, Horizons Ventures, Samsung Ventures, Bertelsmann Digital Media Investments and Dolby Family Ventures.
8i specializes in capturing 3D video of real-life humans for virtual reality experiences. The company has developed a process of recording 3D video with a number of standard cameras, and has started to build demonstrations of its technology that run anywhere from a Oculus Rift headset down to a smart phone or a simple desktop web browser.
Check out a demo video of the technology below:
As part of the funding announcement, 8i is also officially announcing a new studio in Culver City.
However, 8i’s end goal is not to be a production company. Instead, it wants to build a platform for 3D content that can be used by others to integrate 3D into their apps and online experiences. “You won’t go to apple.com, but rather a virtual Apple Store, perhaps with a personal demonstration of the iPhone 10 from Jonny Ive,” said 8i CEO Linc Gasking in a blog post. “You’ll dance with Beyonce in your living room, virtually test drive a Tesla with Elon Musk, and watch your home team from your sofa with your favorite athlete by your side.”