Matt McIlwain is a managing director at the Madrona Venture Group, which recently announced their first investment in the virtual reality space with a $4 million Series A round of funding for Envelop VR. Matt talks about why Seattle is one of the top hotbeds for augmented and virtual reality because there’s a wide variety of hardware, software, gaming, and cloud computing companies including HTC, Valve, Oculus, Facebook, Amazon AWS & Twitch, Microsoft Xbox & Hololens, and Nintendo of America. Matt talks about Madrona’s investment in Envelop VR as well as their strategy finding companies building horizontal software for AR and VR as well as other vertical commercial opportunities of new models of distribution that AR and VR enables.
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Here’s an excerpt from a post that Matt wrote that elaborates he sees Seattle as a hotbed for virtual reality, as well as Madrona’s quest to find and fund the killer VR apps.
We are also delighted to be announcing Madrona’s investment in Envelop VR in conjunction with the second annual Seattle VR conference, taking place today (10/28/15) The conference highlights the breadth and depth of virtual and augmented reality talent in greater Seattle. Microsoft is a major player in both augmented and virtual reality with HoloLens, Minecraft in VR and the XboxOne partnerships with Facebook. Facebook itself has multiple Oculus offices in Seattle and is investing in a variety of strategies across the category. Valve with its Vive/HTC partnership (and HTC North America is also in Seattle), Steam game distribution platform and leading gaming experiences. And, an extensive group of gaming industry leaders including Nintendo USA, PopCap/Electronic Arts, Amazon.com/twitch.tv and Bigfish games. These companies are the foundations upon which a next generation of smart headset ecosystem players will be built.
Seattle is already and will increasingly be seen as a powerhouse in the smart headset and virtual/augmented reality era. We are delighted to be partnering with the Envelop VR team, SEA-VR conference and future VR/AR related companies in the years ahead to help make the smart headset era as successful as the previous hardware computing eras.
The Seattle VR conference was indeed a great gathering of a lot of impressive and cutting edge VR demos, and I’ll continue to have more Voices of VR coverage from the event. Also be sure to check out Michael Glombicki’s summary of the event.
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