Back in 2016, HTC created a $100 million fund for VR startups called Vive X, hoping to grow both applications and use cases for its then-new Vive VR headset. HTC hasn’t shied away from investments, unveiling 20 startups that December, growing the number to 80 in 2017, and more recently refocusing on enterprise opportunities. Today, HTC says it has nearly doubled the value of its investment to date, thanks to outside funding raises by its backed startups, and it boasts over 100 deals spread across six global locations. HTC has also quietly added seven companies to the Vive X fold, focusing substantially but not exclusively on enterprise XR solutions.
Enterprises have been a particularly bright spot for HTC, which has also chased consumer applications and games for its growing lineup of high-end VR headsets. The company expects to see a 39% compound annual growth rate for the enterprise VR segment through 2023, leading to a $4.26 billion market, and is aggressively investing in business-targeted VR and AR companies.
The seven new Vive X companies are:
- 3Data, creator of a 3D visualization tool that allows IT/cybersecurity teams to see a panoramic WebXR-based display of IoT sensor data, alerts, logs, and other data streams as if they’re sitting at a computer command center.
- BodySwaps, maker of VR soft skills educational tools that can help enterprises and educational organizations create lasting behavioral change in interpersonal interactions.
- Imaged Reality, developer of 3DGAIA, a tool that lets users in the oil industry virtually examine and manipulate drone-gathered 3D terrain data, “bringing the field to the office.”
- Maze Theory, designer of immersive VR experiences including Doctor Who: The Edge of Time, Peaky Blinders, and Project Engram.
- ORamaVR, responsible for health care education VR simulations that can be targeted to specific operations, such as hip, knee, and dental procedures, as well as broader training on topics like emergency trauma and basic clinical skills.
- Talespin, maker of the Runway platform behind soft skills training and other XR-based learning applications, plus field tools to support employee job performance.
- Vantage Point, creator of enterprise employee training systems on topics including workplace anti-sexual harassment policies, diversity, equity, and inclusion.
One of HTC’s prior startups, VR CAD collaboration company Mindesk, was acquired by Australia-based software company Vection, and HTC notes that 17 Vive X companies have collectively raised over $60 million over the past year. That notably includes health care imaging company Proprio and the aforementioned Talespin, which attracted international attention (and $15 million) after spotlighting its employee layoff training simulation.
Though the latest group of Vive X accelerator startups is largely enterprise-focused, HTC is continuing to back companies with unique technology ideas for VR, AR, AI, and 5G, as well as advanced user experience development. On the hardware side, HTC plans to win over PC and smartphone users with a mix of Vive Cosmos VR headsets and Vive Proton XR glasses as it moves past its earliest designs.