Virtual reality social networking platform VRChat has successfully raised $1.2 million as part of its initial round of funding, earning the support of industry heavy-hitters like HTC and GREE VR Capital.
Other investors include Rothenberg Ventures and Brightstone Venture Capital. The platform’s creators note that seed investments “will be used to fund VRChat’s continued expansion and for further investment in product development.”
Founded in 2014, VRChat is a cross-platform VR application for Oculus Rift and HTC Vive devices that allows users to immerse themselves in customizable virtual worlds. While exploring VRChat’s detailed environments, players can chat with fellow VR fans using a framework similar to Second Life and other socially oriented virtual worlds.
“We offer users one application with infinite social VR experiences,” said VRChat founder Graham Gaylor. “We empower users to create their own social VR experience, where users have the freedom to easily create their own avatars, worlds, hangouts and games, and then explore that content with their friends.”
Gaylor continued: “We’re working hard to build that platform, and this capital helps us get there faster. We’re excited to have a syndicate of partners on board that provide us with not only capital, but also vast strategic experience in the VR ecosystem.”
HTC, manufacturer of the HTC Vive virtual reality headset, has faith that VRChat will help the company achieve its goal of globalizing virtual reality.
“HTC has been at the forefront of consumer VR, pioneering several ground breaking technologies and working tirelessly to deliver the best VR experiences on the market, winning multiple awards and receiving critical acclaim from media, consumers and the industry,” HTC’s vice president of global VR content Joel Breton said. “With our investment in VRChat, we look to further our ultimate vision: to bring VR into the lives of people around the globe so they can experience immersive social VR in a way that fires the imagination and truly changes the world.”