Pixvana, a Seattle-based startup creating a cloud-based processing and delivery platform for VR video, today announced a $14 million Series A funding round led by Vulcan Capital with participation from Raine Ventures, Microsoft Ventures, Cisco Investments and Hearst Ventures, and existing investor Madrona Venture Group.
The company exited stealth when they announced their initial seed round back in December 2015. The Series A brings their overall investment to $20 million. Now, Pixvana hopes to “enable anyone to create and distribute next-generation video experiences” using its main service SPIN Studio.
SPIN Studio is an end-to-end solution for authoring and delivering virtual, augmented, and mixed reality video content, otherwise encapsulated in the term ‘XR video’ by the company. Both playback and direct-to-store publishing functions are already available to beta testers looking to deliver up to 8K video without the supposed caveat of questionable streaming quality and stuttery playback for their users—a feat accomplished in part by the company’s Field of View Adaptive Streaming (FOVAS) technology that optimizes playback resolution by delivering video in discrete sections and rendering that video only where you’re actively looking. FOVAS is supported on Gear VR, HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, Windows VR headsets and Daydream currently.
According to a company blog post announcing the investment, SPIN Studio takes care stitching, editing, publishing, and playback for a single “seamless workflow.”
“We are thrilled to work with this amazing group of investors backing us, to realize our vision of XR storytelling,” said Forest Key, Pixvana CEO. “Faster iteration and blending of video and 3D content will allow creatives, brands and media companies to create amazing XR experiences. More announcements like the recent devices for Windows MR and Oculus Go will create a rapidly expanding market for XR video experiences.”
To seal the investment, Key and his team created a 360 pitch video entitled Sofia, named after the famous director Sofia Coppola. Below you can get a taste of the 15 minute video, albeit edited for public viewing. While the video is available on YouTube, you won’t get the benefits of FOVAS unless you view through the Spin Play app on Steam, the company’s own showcase of videos possible with its cloud-streaming and adaptive playback capabilities.