By Evan DeSimone
Startup virtual reality studio Jaunt VR has reportedly raised an additional $50 million in Series C funding, according to an unconfirmed report by Variety.
The news comes on the heels of a high profile partnership between Jaunt and ABC News that will see Jaunt produce immersive visual experiences for the news provider to be viewed on virtual reality hardware or mobile devices through 360 streaming video. Jaunt has also been prominently featured by Google as the web giant’s preferred partner for all its 360-degree video and immersive content needs. When Google debuted its first wave of 360-degree YouTube pre-roll ads, it was Jaunt who produced the content.
Launched in 2013 by Jens Christensen, Arthur van Hoff and Tom Annau, Jaunt specializes in building the hardware and software to create and distribute immersive virtual reality video experiences. The new cash infusion comes just over a year after Jaunt raised $27.8 million from a handful of investors including broadcast media giant BSkyB and in-house VC structure Google Ventures. This is the third major funding round for Jaunt, which also raised $6.8 million in the spring of 2014 from Blake Kirkorian, BSkyB and Redpoint Ventures.
With $50 million in capital to deploy on growth and new projects and its enviable status as a Google preferred content provider, Jaunt is well positioned to capitalize on the long anticipated mainstreaming of virtual reality. As consumer priced VR hardware continues to hit the market, experts anticipate that 360-degree entertainment could be as little as five years away from mainstream saturation.