NextVR, a tech company that develops live and on-demand virtual reality experiences, has raised $30.5 million in a Series A funding round led by Formation 8, whose co-founder Brian Koo was an early investor and technical advisor for Oculus prior to its sale to Facebook. Koo will join NextVR’s board of directors.
Founded by producer/director/cinematographer D.J. Roller and digital imaging/3D tech vet David Cole, NextVR received $5 million in funding in September 2014.
Participants in the latest round also include Time Warner Investments, Comcast Ventures, Peter Guber, RSE Ventures, The Madison Square Garden Company and Dick Clark Productions.
It’s not the first bet Guber has placed on NextVR. In May, the onetime Sony Pictures chief and current Mandalay Entertainment CEO made an investment in the company and joined the its newly-formed advisory board as chair. Guber is also the chairman of dick clark productions, which participated in the latest funding round with him, and co-owner, with venture capitalist Joe Lacob, of NBA’s the Golden State Warriors. He also owns a minority stake in the Los Angeles Dodgers.
On October 27, the Warriors teamed with Turner Sports for a live virtual reality telecast of their season opener against the New Orleans Pelicans, viewable on a Samsung Gear VR headset via the NextVR portal.
NextVR has also produced VR content for other sports, music and entertainment partners, including the NHL, Fox Sports, NASCAR and the band Coldplay, and partnered with CNN for a virtual reality telecast of a Democratic presidential debate.
While experts estimate the mainstreaming of virtual reality is somewhere between six months and five years away, investors are already making a steady stream of big bets on the technology. In September, startup virtual reality studio Jaunt VR raised $50 million in Series C funding. Last month, another VR startup, 8i, landed $18.5 million in seed funding for technology that would bring more human faces to the immersive video space. And, earlier this month, Tel Aviv-based WakingApp, which provides tools for streamlining the creation of virtual reality and augmented reality content, raised $4.3 million in series C funding in a round led by Chinese game developer Youzu Interactive.