Los Angeles-based VR software development company TRIPP has announced a $4 million Series A round investment lead by venture capital firm Mayfield. TRIPP describe themselves as “mood architects”, aiming to create VR software that improves mindfulness.
Many types of VR experiences already function as powerful forms of escapism, but TRIPP believes their approach to creating ‘mindfulness’ VR software can deliver a more-focused brain stimulation that could improve a person’s well being and mental health. According to their website, the team will apply their decades of game development experience combined with “emerging mindfulness research” in VR experiences that affect the user “in deeply positive, and highly targeted ways that take you well beyond ‘fun’.”
In the press release provided to Road to VR, CEO and co-founder Nanea Reeves describes how TRIPP’s approach avoids typical guided meditation techniques, instead going for a deeply immersive experience that happens all around the user.
“We are combining multiple elements to create a completely immersive, supercharged experience that is crafted to put users in a different headspace,” writes Reeves. “Using visuals, sounds and targeted interactivity to first create a state of calm, we then take you on a journey that can stimulate a number of different feelings and moods – enabling users to take a step back from their busy lives and enjoy a sensory experience unlike any other.”
Reeves believes there are limited examples of their ‘stimulation over simulation’ philosophy in the VR marketplace today. “Despite the amount of time spent innovating in VR, the applications built for it have mostly attempted to recreate this reality or more immersive 360 versions of content originally created for another medium,” she says. “Taking a TRIPP will not be like anything that exists in the real world.”
Speaking to Dave Westin on the Mobile Growth Podcast in May, Reeves teased how their software aims to be exceedingly pleasurable – “the most fun ten minutes of your life that you’ve ever experienced, that’s our goal from a product standpoint” – and also explained how TRIPP first formed as a result of bringing her cousin and world-famous actor Keanu Reeves to Oculus headquarters for an early Crescent Bay demo.
No specific platforms or dates have been announced, but TRIPP is targeting VR hardware first, with an eye on bringing their software to ‘mixed reality’ in the future, saying they want TRIPP to feature “on every meaningful device that has deep immersion capabilities.”
Mayfield Fund partner Tim Chang joins as a TRIPP board member. Along with his experience in technology investment and engineering, Chang describes himself as a “body- and consciousness-hacking enthusiast” on his Mayfield bio.