VRChat, a social VR platform that allows users to create, publish, and explore VR worlds, have announced a $1.2 million seed investment round. Investors include HTC, Rothenberg Ventures, GREE VR Capital, and Brightstone Venture Capital.

Supporting Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, VRChat currently offers over 200 user-created worlds, everything from simple environments to some of the most complex creations currently in social VR. Unlike ready-made social platforms though that feature limited avatar selections and only a few virtual spaces, VRChat maintains a DIY vibe that tends to attract more of a Maker crowd. In fact, if you know your way around the Unity game engine, you can even design your own custom avatar and virtual environment from the ground up and share it with everyone.

VRChat most notably features a weekly round table discussion called Gunter’s Universe—something of a live podcast which regularly hosts devs, industry professionals, and fellow VR enthusiasts.

gunters universe vr chat
Gunter’s Universe

“We offer users one application with infinite social VR experiences. We empower users to create their own social VR experience, where users have the freedom to easily create their own avatars, worlds, hangouts and games, and then explore that content with their friends. We’re working hard to build that platform, and this capital helps us get there faster,” said Graham Gaylor, Founder/CEO of VRChat. “We’re excited to have a syndicate of partners on board that provide us with not only capital, but also vast strategic experience in the VR ecosystem.”

VRChat says financing will be used to fund the platform’s continued expansion and for further investment in product development, with more hardware integrations planned throughout 2017.

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Well before the first modern XR products hit the market, Scott recognized the potential of the technology and set out to understand and document its growth. He has been professionally reporting on the space for nearly a decade as Editor at Road to VR, authoring more than 4,000 articles on the topic. Scott brings that seasoned insight to his reporting from major industry events across the globe.
  • I assumed the Rift and a Facebook VR system would have launched by now. Strange really as they already have the playerbase and in a VR world they could monetize Facebook by offering virtual land / virtual shops etc (for those willing to pay micro transactions for extras). Imagine having your own house in VR, kitted out how you like and on your street are all your worldwide friends houses (designed by them). If they are online then the lights are on so you could go knock on their door, play games etc.

    • David Herrington

      The lack of a Facebook VR system may be due to the fact that Touch has not been released. But who knows.

      • Maybe yeah. Project Sansar (Second Life’s new VR version) is also progressing along so the social VR space is hotting up.

        • David Herrington

          Verified: Facebook VR is waiting on Touch release. http://www.roadtovr.com/video-mark-zuckerberg-demos-facebooks-social-vr-app/

          • I watched that video, it was mediocre. It would certainly make sense for the largest social media company in the world who owns one of the top consumer HMD systems in the world to be at the front of social-VR before anybody else, it would propel Rift sales like nothing else. Instead they release a video showing something a couple of Indy developers could have written in a week? I have to be missing something here.

          • David Herrington

            It is lackluster to be sure. They probably haven’t showed everything that they were working on as they didn’t want to show their hand to the likes of other VR social spaces before release. More of a teaser. But who knows.

          • At least we have High Fidelity working and getting further along.