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Disney-Backed Jaunt in Talks to Sell VR Assets (EXCLUSIVE)

Disney-backed immersive media startup Jaunt is in talks to sell some of its virtual reality (VR) assets, including technology and intellectual property, Variety has learned from multiple sources close to these conversations. This comes after Jaunt officially announced last month that it would exit the VR business, lay off all of its VR staffers, and focus on augmented reality and volumetric capture going forward.

A Jaunt spokesperson declined to comment.

One of the suitors lined up to potentially take over some of Jaunt’s VR assets is Spinview Global, a London- and Stockholm-based VR content management platform. A source familiar with the conversations between the two companies described these negotiations as “quite advanced.”

Jaunt has also talked to other companies interested in its VR assets, according to another source, but it’s unclear how far those talks progressed.

Jaunt, which was founded in 2013, developed a VR camera and related capture technology as well as a VR content distribution platform. The company also produced its own VR content, and aimed to be a powerhouse for cinematic VR after raising $65 million from Disney and others in 2015.

As part of those efforts, Jaunt hired former Hearst Ventures president George Kliavkoff as its CEO. Jaunt also opened up its own studio space in Los Angeles to produce cinematic VR. Altogether, Jaunt had raised over $100 million in funding.

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Kliavkoff left the company in September, and was internally replaced by Mitzi Reaugh. A month after the leadership change, Jaunt announced that it would exit the VR space and let go of a “significant portion” of its staff as a result. The company never disclosed how many staffers it laid off, but a source close to the company told Variety that about 70 percent of its workforce were affected by the restructuring.

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