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Experimental entertainment company Two Bit Circus has raised $15 million in a funding round led by Jazz Venture Partners, with participation from existing investors, including Foundry Group, Techstars Ventures, Intel Capital, and a handful of new investors.
Founded out of Los Angeles in 2012, Two Bit Circus uses technology to create immersive and interactive spectacles through events. Among its public installations have been virtual reality (VR) content and haptic activations, interactive games for conferences, and the company’s “STEAM Carnival.”
Ultimately, Two Bit Circus is setting out to “reinvent the way people play,” according to a company statement.
“Out of home entertainment hasn’t changed much since laser tag and mini-golf,” explained Brent Bushnell, CEO and cofounder of Two Bit Circus. “The latest tech has just blown the doors open on a whole new world, changed what it means to play, and play together socially. People stress about tech pushing people apart, but we love watching it bring them together.”
The company raised a $6.5 million Series A round back in 2015, and late last year it launched a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign for a maker kit to inspire creativity in kids — however, the campaign was closed a month later with less than half of its $73,000 goal reached.
Two Bit Circus’ latest fund will be used specifically to build micro-amusement parks comprising more than 30,000 square feet of entertainment, including VR and mixed reality, as well as social games, fire, lasers, robots, and more. The first such entertainment park will open in Los Angeles, with a date yet to be announced.
The announcement of these amusement parks marks a notable evolution for Two Bit Circus, given that the parks will be the first permanent locations for the company.
“In the past, Two Bit Circus’ installations have been temporary and held primarily at large events and conferences,” said Eric Gradman, Two Bit Circus cofounder and self-proclaimed “mad inventor.” “We’re thrilled to build our first permanent location in our backyard. Our band of scientists, artists, storytellers, and performers are excited to bring to life a world of year-round fun.”
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