VRChat, the popular social VR platform, announced its secured a Series D funding round of $80 million, which brings to the startup more than five times its overall lifetime investment.

The round was led by Anthos Capital, alongside participating investors Makers Fund, GFR Fund and others. According to Crunchbasethis brings VRChat’s overall outside investment to $95.2 million.

VRChat is a free app that brings together VR and non-VR users in user-generated spaces that can range from the mundane to the truly fantastic. Having celebrated its first taste of virality back in 2018, the PC and SteamVR-compatible app went on to include support for Oculus Quest in late 2020, which propelled it yet further with record-setting concurrent user numbers. The company now boasts over 40,000 concurrent users.

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The company says the investment will “expedite development of a creator economy where members can earn, an enhanced social discovery system for more meaningful experiences, and expansion to more platforms. These enhancements will contribute to VRChat’s rapid growth and allow more people to access this virtual universe.”

Last year, social VR app Rec Room also dipped its toes into the digital economy by offering its creators real financial reward for developing on the app, which includes things like premium experiences, avatar accessories, and in-game gadgets. Rec Room also posted some pretty substantial funding, as its latest round garnered it a $100 million Series D and a $1.25 billion valuation.

This means Rec Room and VRChat now rank among some of the most valuable VR companies outside of platform holders Facebook, Valve, and HTC.

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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 3,500 articles on the topic. Scott brings that seasoned insight to his reporting from major industry events across the globe.
  • I knew about the $80M. I didn’t know about creating an inworld economy! Good story!

    • kontis

      They need something to generate hundreds of millions of revenue so the investors can make something from that investment.

      Apps with their own economy have a huge problem of the gate keeper already taking 30% (in this case Steam and Oculus).
      It would make a lot of sense for VRChat on PC to leave Steam and move to Windows Store and EGS, once they have the economy.

      Epic’s metaverse dreams is the reason they sued Apple and Google.
      ToS limitations for UCG is another road block, although when you are super huge like Roblox the rules don’t apply. But VRchat is much smaller, so not sure how Apple would treat them.

      This is why anti trust laws need to be enhanced, because those market tyrants are getting crazy. They use security excuses to limit freedoms of millions of people. Not a problem when they don’t have insane power (free market), but today’s Apple has far faaaaar wider reach than US federal gov in the past when these laws were created. They are global powers more powerful than many countries.

      • guest

        Its all about a gamble on the chance one of the big tech tyrants is going takeover a Unity that’s spread too thin across platforms.

        • silvaring

          You’re referring to Unity the game engine right?

          • guest

            Is that not what VR Chat is built on top of?

      • PK

        vrchat’s approach is similar to patreon, which i think is the right system to encourage the more creators to make time for building out this community. the IP issue is unavoidable, was just a matter of time until a platform gets big enough to warrant cracking down. which will suck, but overall i think this is the right time for them to expand.

  • wheeler

    I worry that once they formally create a centralized digital economy like this and bring money into the equation, we’ll gradually enter a situation where IP holders will want to “protect” and create scarcity around content inspired by their IP. I.e. you’ll only be able to buy Disney’s official Star Wars character avatars, not those created by the community. This will evolve into an automated content ID system to prevent any *usage* of custom content inspired by the “property” of the big IP holders–at least those with the resources to use the legal system to enforce that scarcity. This will extend to avatars, environments, music, and so on.

    I’m hoping NeosVR takes a different path that is more decentralized.

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    • Tom M

      Yep. Once money is involved, IP-Holders will step in and DMCA all of their content/avatars from the game.