NextVR, the company known for live-broadcasting immersive video such as last month’s Gear VR-accessible Democratic debate, announced recently a $30.5 million Series A funding round with investments by some big names in traditional media.
VR is changing the consumption of entertainment, and it now seems that the giants of traditional media are slowly warming up to the idea of livestreamed events happening in virtual reality.
The $30.5M significantly increases their funding from last year’s $5M funding road.
Not only is Time Warner participated in the Series A, but Comcast Ventures, the investment arm of cable giant Comcast Corporation, has also made a strategic investment in the livestreaming platform.
According to Time Warner Investments’ managing director, Scott Levine, NextVR promises to be “…the forefront of a transformative technology that is revolutionizing how live-action content will be consumed.” Levine has also joined NextVR as a board observer.
To the list of investors, which was led by investment firm Formation 8, are also a number of sports and entertainment companies that could significantly broaden NextVR’s physical reach:
- Peter Guber, chairman and CEO of Mandalay Entertainment, and co-owner of the Golden State Warriors, Los Angeles Dodgers and Los Angeles FC, and chairman of Dick Clark Productions
- RSE Ventures, a venture firm that primarily invests in sports and entertainment-related technologies, and companies such as the International Champions Cup and the Miami Dolphins
- The Madison Square Garden Company, owners of Madison Square Garden and a number of American sports teams including the New York Nicks, the New York Rangers and a number of venues throughout the country
- Dick Clark Productions, a company founded by the late entertainer Dick Clark, and known for producing the American Music Awards, Golden Globes, and Hollywood Film Awards among many other
In a bid to capitalize on the enormous potential for immersive video to change the way people watch sports and other live performances, traditional media companies see NextVR as a prime outlet for their content, which will be available on every major virtual reality headset, including the Oculus Rift, Samsung Gear VR, HTC Vive, and Sony’s PSVR. The NextVR app is currently only available on Gear VR.
Only 2 weeks ago NextVR presented a 3D 180-degree livestream of the NBA’s opening night matchup game between the Golden State Warriors and the New Orleans Pelicans, thanks to their partnership with Turner Sports and the NBA. NextVR has also demonstrated their technology with the NHL, NASCAR, and CNN’s coverage of the 2015 presidential Democratic debate.
See more about the latest showing of NextVR’s technology in our article ‘I Watched an NBA Game With NextVR and I Can’t Go Back to Normal TV’.