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China’s CITIC Guoan Invests in NextVR

Chinese investment group CITIC Guoan has spent $20 million buying a stake in U.S.-based virtual reality broadcaster NextVR.

CITIC Guoan, part of the gigantic state-owned CITIC group, is known in entertainment circles for having backed former Disney boss Dick Cook in his Dick Cook Studios venture.

CITIC Guoan bought Class B shares representing 2.3% of NextVR’s total equity. NextVR is currently seeking $80 million of fresh capital. The deal helps to underpin its $800 million valuation. Last year it raised $35 million in two investment rounds led by Vectr Ventures and Formation8 Partners.

The company broadcasts live, high-definition, three dimensional video over the Internet. Its has broadcast live basketball matches and an address by U.S. President Obama. NextVR said that the new cash would be used to expand its channels and to improve its technology.

CITIC Guoan, which reported the deal to Chinese stock markets in a regulatory filing, said that the investment would give it direct connections to leading technology and personnel in the VR sector.

Last year CITIC Guoan agreed to a $150 million investment in Dick Cook Studios. In March this year, Cook and CITIC Guoan unveiled plans for a film production slate, while CITIC Guoan pulled back the curtains on its proposed movie-making and real estate venture outside of Beijing.

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