NextVR, the live event broadcasting platform for VR headsets, has been acquired by Apple in what was reportedly a $100 million purchase.
Update (March 15th, 2020): For the first time since reports broke back in April, Apple has confirmed that it was the buyer of the VR live streaming company NextVR, Bloomberg reports. Apple did not confirm the price of the acquisition, but earlier reports suggested $100 million.
This week NextVR’s website was stripped down leaving only a short message in its wake: “NextVR is Heading in a New Direction. Thank you to our partners and fans around the world for the role you played in building this awesome platform for sports, music and entertainment experiences in Virtual Reality.”
Original Article (April 6th, 2020): Founded in 2009, the Orange County-based startup broadcasts stereoscopic video of live sports and music to a wide swath of VR headsets, including Oculus Go, Oculus Quest, PSVR, and PC VR headsets such as HTC Vive and Oculus Rift S. Its unique selling proposition has always been its ability to let fans get close to the action in a way traditional monoscopic livestreams simply can’t, i.e. by letting VR users watch live events from the best seat in the house.
The company has come a long ways since it initially launched the platform on Samsung Gear VR in 2015, amassing over 40 patents and strategic broadcasting partnerships with the likes of the NBA, NHL, WWE, FOX Sports, Live Nation, and the International Champions Cup, and significantly upping its video quality in the process. The company has also previously sets its sights on six degrees of freedom-enabled volumetric video, higher resolution output, and augmented reality support.
According to CrunchBase, the company’s total funding comes to $115.5 million, with its latest investment, a Series B round amounting to $80 million, arriving in August 2016.
The acquisition is said to follow the company’s failure to secure a Series C round in early 2019, which coincided with a layoff of 40% of its staff.