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Two industry veterans have started a $50 million venture capital fund to invest in early-stage virtual reality, augmented reality, and mixed reality startups.
Marco DeMiroz, former chief executive of PlayFirst, and Tipatat Chennavasin, former head of mobile game maker Big Head Mode, have started the Venture Reality Fund to fund innovative companies across a wide variety of sectors in the emerging VR, AR, and MR landscapes. They’re a part of the growing ecosystem behind AR and VR, which are expected to become a $120 billion market by 2020, according to tech advisor Digi-Capital.
“We are eager to help entrepreneurs bring industry-defining technology to market faster, and to positively impact their growth path by providing the capital, insights and strategic relationships needed at this critical time,” the fund organizers said on their web site. “The best way to predict the future is to build it, the second best way is to fund it. We believe in the transformative powers of this new medium and want to help make VR, AR, and MR happen in the best way possible.”
Other funds have formed as well to back VR and AR companies. One of them is the $10 million Presence Capital fund started in December.
DeMiroz was previously managing director of Evolution Media Partners, which invested in JauntVR, where he currently serves as a board observer. He is also a board member at the leading mobile marketing company, Swrve, and actively advises various media and technology companies in VR/AR sectors.
Chennavasin has experience creating both interactive VR/AR and 360 video. He became convinced of the power of VR when he accidentally cured himself of his real life fear of heights while developing in VR. He also has entrepreneurial experience as co-founder and CEO of mobile game startup Big Head Mode, which he sold to PlayFirst to focus on VR. He was also the VR expert at Rothenberg Ventures and co-founder of the River New Frontier Accelerator Program.
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