Yahoo Japan has invested an undisclosed amount of money in The Venture Reality Fund, which is focused on making investments in virtual reality, augmented reality, and mixed reality.
The two firms also aim to accelerate growth in the AR and VR industries. Yahoo! Japan, which has more 90 million daily users for its internet media, joins HP as a big company that wants to make sure it hitches a ride on the AR and VR gravy trains. The combined worldwide market for AR and VR is expected to exceed $143 billion by 2020, an annual growth rate of 198 percent from 2015, according to market researcher IDC.
The VR Fund is one of the most active and experienced venture investors in the sector, and it has raised an estimated $50 million for its fund for early-stage startups.
“Yahoo! Japan and its leadership team are known for their commitment to continuous innovation and enriching services for their users and community,” said Marco DeMiroz, cofounder and general partner of The VR Fund, in a statement. “Immersive technologies in AR and VR have great potential to revolutionize business, empower consumers, revitalize the economy, and drive awareness and positive change in the world. Yahoo! Japan’s investment will help cultivate and scale new technologies and applications that can transform content consumption and commerce for the consumer.”
Under the partnership, The VR Fund will provide Yahoo! Japan with insights into the AR/VR sector, as well as early access to leading AR and VR innovators, which will drive Yahoo! Japan’s investment in AR/VR startups and potential business development. The VR Fund’s investment portfolio will, in turn, benefit from Yahoo! Japan’s insights into internet business and consumers in Japan.
“We’re excited to partner with The VR Fund to accelerate the growth of some of the world’s most promising AR and VR technologies,” said Yuichiro Tanakamaru, corporate development manager of Yahoo! Japan, in a statement. “We believe that AR and VR have the potential to transform consumer behaviors for media, shopping, social interaction, and other content and commerce dimensions, which will inevitably drive substantial economic growth across the globe. We look forward to working closely with The VR Fund to identify and promote the best and the brightest in the space.”