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Location-Based VR Startup Tyffon Raises $2.17 Million for U.S. Expansion (EXCLUSIVE)

Investors include SEGA Sammy Holdings.

Santa Monica, Calif.-based virtual reality startup Tyffon has raised a new $2.17 million round in funding from investors including SEGA SAMMY Holdings, Mizuho Capital, Tokyu Recreation and Canal Ventures. The new round of funding brings the total raised by Tyffon thus far to $4 million.

Tyffon launched out of the Disney Accelerator program back in 2014, and initially built mobile apps like “Show Your Disney Side.” More recently, the company switched course to focus in location-based virtual and mixed reality attractions.

As part of those efforts, Tyffon has developed two location-based experiences: “Corridor,” which is being described as a mixed reality horror experience, and “Fluctus,” a mixed reality fantasy ride on a floating ship.

Both have been available in a so-called Tyffonium, which opened about a year ago in Tokyo. The company now plans to open a second Tokyo location in November, and open a first U.S. location in Los Angeles in the coming months.

“We are gratified by our new investment and look forward to expanding our innovative and impactful Tyffonium immersive experiences to audiences in the U.S.,” said Tyffon CEO Ken Fukazawa in a statement. “Our new investors include SEGA SAMMY Holdings, a world-renowned innovator in technology and entertainment.”

Tyffon isn’t the only company looking to bring location-based virtual reality to the masses. Fellow Disney Accelerator alum The Void has opened a total of 11 locations thus far, and plans to open a number of additional outposts in the near future.

However, not everyone has had success making location-based VR work: Imax closed down 2 out of its 7 VR centers earlier this year, and executives have said that the majority of its other locations isn’t living up to the company’s expectations.

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