Some virtual reality startups are having trouble getting the attention of investors, after the first wave of VR headsets failed to live up to the hype. But TheWaveVR has been able to raise $6 million in venture funding for its social VR platform and community for VR music and visual arts experiences.
TheWaveVR turns concerts into social VR experiences where people can dance with each other in a VR disco. The Austin, Texas-based company recently launched a Ready Player One music VR experience that resembles a scene in Steven Spielberg’s movie. That sort of fantasy enabled TheWaveVR to raise the round led by RRE Ventures. Alice Lloyd George, principal at RRE, is joining TheWaveVR’s board.
The round also includes venture capital firms such as Upfront Ventures, KPCB, Greycroft VR Gaming Tracker Fund, The VR Fund, and more. Other investors who also participated include Andy Ross from OK Go; Alex Chung, cofounder and CEO of Giphy; and Matt Brimer, cofounder of General Assembly and Daybreaker.
“The VR ecosystem is approaching a tipping point with the release of ‘Ready Player One’. With hardware prices coming down, stand-alone headsets like Oculus Go and Vive Focus on the horizon, and developers discovering best use cases, VR is on a sure path to become mainstream,” said Adam Arrigo, TheWaveVR CEO and cofounder, in a statement. “We spent last year nailing down the format for these fully interactive concerts and proved people love our experience; this year we’re focused on how that content gets created and shared.”
With this latest infusion of capital, the company’s total funding comes to $10 million. TheWaveVR said the money will let it expand the app’s community tools and port to additional platforms. TheWaveVR has also opened a new Los Angeles office, where it is collaborating with top artists and musicians on a number of high-profile VR concerts this year.
To secure the funds for this round, TheWaveVR’s team used the company’s content creation tool, Wave Builder, to create a fully interactive VR pitch deck to pitch VCs within the TheWaveVR platform. TheWaveVR and RRE also signed the series A term sheet in VR, which you can see in the video found here.
“When Adam and his team pitched us in VR, from within TheWaveVR itself, we saw that the possibilities could go far beyond music,” said RRE Ventures’ Lloyd George, in a statement. “It’s the most creative experience in VR today and is continually evolving. TheWaveVR is a brilliant venue for concerts, but also much more. We’re already seeing users explore it for other experiences, from digital art to narrative storytelling to business meetings. We’re excited about the product roadmap and their future launch onto other platforms, and thrilled to work alongside this incredible team for their next chapter.”
TheWaveVR has 14 employees. Asked about the slow VR growth, Arrigo said in an email, “It’s going slow in terms of consumer adoption, but not any slower than we expected. Ever since we started the company, we looked at the challenges of VR. We’ve always thought we needed a solid three years of runway because there are so many unknowns about platforms and adoptions. It’s been good because it’s allowed us to build amazing tech that was necessary to develop a good experience. What helped us were a lot of investors in this round were already in the seed round, so that made it much easier on us. We also had a very powerful tool to let people experience what’s compelling about the platform. People are using the platform to tell stories, and a pitch is essentially telling a good story.”