NextVR, a developer of live virtual-reality broadcast technology, has raised $80 million in Series B funding mostly from Asian investors as the company looks to establish a worldwide footprint for its platform for sports, concerts and other live events.
Investors in the Series B round include: SoftBank, CITIC Guoan Information Industry Co., Chinese Internet company NetEase, China’s CMC Holdings, Hong Kong-based VMS Investments Group, Chinese investment firm Founder H Fund, China Assets (Holdings) Ltd., and Spectrum 28, an early-stage investment fund in San Francisco.
All investors from NextVR’s 30.5 million Series A round also participated, including Formation Group, Time Warner Investments, Comcast Ventures, Stephen Ross’s RSE Ventures, Mandalay Entertainment CEO Peter Guber, the Madison Square Garden Co. and Dick Clark Prods. The funding brings NextVR to about $116 million total raised to date.
“With this new funding, we will continue to build NextVR’s virtual-reality platform to meet the needs of the world’s largest fanbases around live sports and music content,” NextVR executive chairman Brad Allen said in a statement. “Having the support of Asia’s biggest players provides us with significant resources for creating and distributing both local and international content in China, Korea, and Japan.”
This year NextVR announced a pact with Live Nation to deliver hundreds of live performances in virtual reality worldwide, and inked a five-year pact with Fox Sports to broadcast major sporting events live in VR. Past events NextVR has worked with partners to produce in VR include the U.S. Open and the Masters Tournament, the Kentucky Derby, the Daytona 500 and the International Champions Cup.
“NextVR continues to revolutionize how live virtual reality content will be created and delivered,” said Scott Levine, managing director of Time Warner Investments. “Consumers are excited about the technology and NextVR’s platform is clearly the leader in this emerging space.”
Founded in 2009, NextVR is based in Laguna Beach, Calif. The company says it has more than 36 patents granted or pending for the capture, compression, transmission and display of VR content.