Virtual Reality Startup Wevr Gets $10 Million from HTC

Venice, Calif.-based virtual reality startup Wevr has gotten a major cash injection from HTC, the maker of the Vive virtual reality headset. HTC disclosed to investors this week that it has invested $10 million in WEVR, which gives it a 15% stake in the company.

WEVR is both building virtual reality (VR) software, including a media player, as well as apps and experiences. The company’s fist project was “TheBlu: Encounter” an underwater experience that puts VR users on the deck of a sunken ship, where they face a giant blue whale up close.

More recently, WEVR teamed up with Adult Swim for “The Virtual Brainload,” a mobile VR app for Samsung’s Gear VR and Google’s Cradboard headsets. WEVR also launched a grant program for VR producers earlier this year, pledging to support creatives with grants of up to $50,000 for their experiences.

HTC has teamed up with video game specialist Valve to build its own VR headset, dubebd the HTC Vive. Equipped with a number of photo sensors, Vive will allow users to walk around within a 15 by 15-feet physical space to explore virtual spaces more realistically.

Valve and HTC haven’t announced a ship date or price for the Vive yet, but it’s expected to become available either late this or early next year. WEVR’s “TheBlu: Encounter” will be available as a launch title on the device.

WEVR co-founder and CEO Neville Spiteri recently told Variety that trying the Vive headset for the first time had a profound impact on him. “It was a life-changing experience,” he said.

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