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Virtual Reality Startup Jaunt Raises Massive New Round of Funding (Exclusive)

Virtual reality startup Jaunt is about to announce a massive Series C round of financing, Variety has learned. Exact numbers weren’t available ahead of the company’s official announcement, but multiple sources peg the amount north of $50 million.

The raise comes just a year after Jaunt secured a $27.8 million Series B, and less than 18 months after the company’s $6.8 million Series A. Previous Jaunt investors include Highland Capital Partners, Redpoint Ventures, Google Ventures, BSkyB and others.

An announcement of the new funding could come as early as next week, when much of the VR world is congregating in Los Angeles for Oculus VR’s Connect developer conference. A Jaunt spokesperson declined to comment.

Jaunt has been a bit of a jack-of-all trades in the virtual reality (VR) world; the company has built its own VR camera, has produced VR experiences and apps for studios and others, and has developed its own software and tools for VR content production.

Some of Jaunt’s recent work includes a cooperation with ABC News and a virtual reality runway show for Rebecca Minkoff. Earlier this summer, jaunt unveiled its own VR camera, code-named the Jaunt Neo. However, Jaunt has no plans to sell the Neo to consumers. Instead, it built it primarily to help its own production efforts.

Jaunt is said to be focusing more on original content, with the goal of becoming more of a full-featured studio. Jaunt has launched a new corporate division called Jaunt Studios that is headed by former Lucasfilm CTO and Digital Domain CEO Cliff Plumer and that includes a physical production space in Los Angeles.

Jaunt’s big Series C can be seen as a sign that investors believe in the importance of non-gaming, cinematic VR content, and could possibly help other studios and production companies raise big rounds as well.

Investments in VR have been heating up in general. In the first half of 2015, VR companies raised a total of $248 million, according to data from CB Insights.

 

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