The Toronto-based AR/VR developer Dark Slope today announced it’s closed a bridge funding round with multiple investors which brings the company’s total funding to $2.75 million. This coincides with a pivot away from location-based VR entertainment towards immersive VR learning.

The completion of the funding round is also putting Dark Slope co-founder Raja Khanna into the role of CEO. Raja was the CEO of Television & Digital at global content and media company Blue Ant Media, and was co-founder of technology company QuickPlay Media, which was acquired by AT&T in 2016.

QuickPlay co-founder Kavi Maharajh is signing on as Chief Product Officer responsible for the building of Involve XR, Dark Slope’s new immersive learning platform. Maharajh was also a VP at AT&T and SVP at Full Screen Media.

Involve XR is said to allow learners to “access realistic 3D spaces and objects to learn, observe, practise and apply skills.” Users are able to access the platform via VR headsets, AR on mobile devices, or desktop.

Founded in 2018, Dark Slope’s initial $1.5 million seed round brought along with it a content deal which saw the creation of a location-based VR game using Nathan Jurevicius’ graphic novel Scarygirl (2009) as its basis.

Image courtesy Dark Slope

Called Scarygirl Mission Maybee, the multiplayer action game tasked players with saving the world from Dr. Maybee and his diabolical experiments, forcing players to cooperate in order to rid the world of Dr. Maybee’s infectious goo, purify it and “blast it back at the hordes of creatures infesting the world.”

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It seems Dark Slope has since wound down its location-based ambitions in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. The company most recently launched a multiplayer smartphone-based AR game for AT&T called Trick Shot Kings in March of this year.

The company says it will continue to fundraise to support its pivot towards immersive learning and has already begun to confirm substantial partnerships in support of the product build.

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    Interesting. I hope they focus on math and science, and away from social sciences and anything where we have to start asking questions about the implications of VR for retelling history and exacerbating all the holes in the stories we tell ourselves. There’s a VR app coming out where you get to be historical figures and read their speeches, which is interesting in two ways. One is that they noticeably did not include any slave owners, which it think would not have been the case if it was made in 2016, and it would be a big controversy by now (and for good reason, it’s intended for kids and it likely won’t be optional). And the second is that format, reading the speech by a historical figure as though you are them, was originally tried in an experiment where people were embodying Lenin and reading one of his speeches to a crowd of workers. It’s funny to me that they obviously were not going to add Lenin to their experience, but I feel like that says something about how there is a line that we’re dancing around.

    It would cool if this is for the consumer market because I think we get better software that way and schools are a mess when it comes to tech, they buy old hardware for too much money and don’t know how to use it or navigate the closed software packages they end up buying.

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