The exact amount wasn’t disclosed. But HP Tech Ventures, the new corporate venture arm of HP, has joined as an investor in The VR Fund, which has become one of the most active investors in VR, augmented reality, and mixed reality startups. It is HP’s first move into VR investments.
The VR Fund has invested in a number of early-stage startups developing infrastructure, tools, platforms, content, and apps for the mixed reality ecosystem.
The VR Fund will provide HP with early access to leading AR/VR/MR technologies with commercial applications in HP’s target markets, including office, retail, health care, manufacturing, and education. The VR Fund’s investment portfolio will in turn benefit from HP’s product portfolio and reach.
“HP has a rich history of delivering innovative technology and was an early believer in the vast potential for mixed reality to transform consumer and commercial markets,” said Marco DeMiroz, cofounder and general partner of The VR Fund, in a statement. “We are excited to have HP Tech Ventures as a key investor in our fund and look forward to working closely with their team to introduce new applications for corporate innovation and productivity, while enhancing the customer experience and product development.”
Venture capital investments in VR and AR reached $1.8 billion in 2016. Goldman Sachs estimates the market will reach $80 billion by 2025. The VR Fund is part of HP’s growing network of partners developing next-generation mixed reality applications, content distribution platforms, gaming platforms, head-mounted displays, and mobile solutions and services.
“AR/VR is one of the most transformative categories in today’s technology landscape, and The VR Fund is one of the leading players in this ecosystem,” said Andrew Bolwell, global head of HP Tech Ventures, in a statement. “We are excited to be an investor and look forward to working closely with The VR Fund to bring amazing new immersive experiences to market.”