Despite 2016 being shaky year for immersive technology, VR and AR kind of killed it, raking in a total of $2.3 billion in investments. That’s a 300% increase from last year! AR hardware start-up Magic Leap made more than any other single company, collecting over $793.5 million from VC and corporate investors. In total, AR hardware took in $4 of every $10 invested, more than any other sector. The next largest sector was VR and AR services and solutions, which took just under $2 of every $10 invested. And even though experts have discredited 360-video as not being volumetric VR video, it didn’t stop investors from giving VR video companies over $1 of every $10 invested. NextVR raised $80 million, 360fly $40 million, and Baobab Studios’ about $25 million.
So who else put their faith in VR/AR last year?
Well the big money came from Alibaba, Warner Bros, Google, Qualcomm, Fidelity, J.P. Morgan, Morgan Stanley, T.Rowe Price, Wellington, CIC, Intel, Amazon, Fidelity, CITIC, NetEase, Softbank, 21st Century Fox, MGM, Lenovo, Tencent, Comcast, Samsung, HTC — the star line-up of investors in tech globally.
But they weren’t alone, as Sand Hill Road VCs including Sequoia, DFJ, Lightspeed, KPCB and Greylock entered the market, joining dedicated VR/AR funds Colopl Next, The VR Fund, Super Ventures, Signia Ventures, Maven Ventures, Presence Capital, GREE VR Capital, Boost VC, Anorak Ventures, Outpost Capital, B Capital and others.
If investor’s confidence in VR/AR is like it was in 2016, than 2017 should be a bright year for the platform.