Who are the three biggest players in the non-porn VR CONTENT CREATION (not hardware) space? How big are those three entities in terms of gross market, capitalization, funding, and what were the sources and amounts of their start up capital?

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Who are the three biggest players in the non-porn VR CONTENT CREATION (not hardware) space? How big are those three entities in terms of gross market, capitalization, funding, and what were the sources and amounts of their start up capital?

Hi there! Thank you for your question on the three biggest players in VR content creation. I hope I can help you determine whether a VR content studio venture is worthwhile or not. In short, I have identified the three biggest players as Blippar, Matterport and 8i with funding ranging from $41.48 million to over $99 million. I have excluded the larger companies of NextVR and Jaunt as they have secured contracts with NBA and NHL respectively. More over, I have endeavored to provide some information on the general trend of the VR content creation market to further aid you in your decision. A deep dive of my findings follows below.


METHODOLOGY

In order to find a full scope of information I have used user forums, review sites and trusted media sites to identify the top three biggest players. For more specific information on revenue and funding I have searched corporate websites and industry reports. Crunchbase proved to contain the most valuable information.


GENERAL VR CONTENT CREATION MARKET

There are many references of VR content becoming the next big thing, it's success in the future is highly probable. Here the current climate for VR content is explained: " Although only a few thousand people had the full VR experience, the interactive elements were repurposed for YouTube where they scored around 27 million views. And, assuming you get it right, there is also a multiplier effect in terms of PR and word-of-mouth. The experience is so new, it will take people’s breath away." Statistically speaking this is the current forecast: "the global VR content creation market will reach a whopping US$41.01 bn by the end of 2024, from its valuation of US$147.5 mn in 2015. If these figures hold true, the global market will exhibit exponential rise at a CAGR of 89.8% between 2016 and 2024". This growth is further confirmed in the popularity in funding for VR content creation start-ups: "Funding in Virtual Reality Content providers has seen a 377% increase over the last year with  $248M invested in 2015, vis-a-vis the $52M in 2014."


LIMITATIONS

There is considerable overlap between VR content creating companies with software and hardware. It appears that the most successful companies are those that have their hands in all three areas. As per your request I have endeavored to investigate companies that are VR content creation based, but it is worth noting for the possibility of any start-up venture.


FINDINGS

I first identified the top three biggest players to be NextVR, Jaunt and Blippar. However as NextVR and Jaunt hold contracts with NBA and NHL you may not find them acceptable. As such, an alternative list would be Blippar, Matterport and 8i in order. Below I will go into further detail on the specifics of each of these companies including but not limited to: gross market, capitalization, funding and sources of capital.

The company is described as: "a technology company specializing in augmented reality, artificial intelligence and computer vision". Notably they are differentiated from the pack for featuring a visual discovery app stated as: "harnessing augmented reality and artificial intelligence to bring the physical world to life through smartphones". Founded in August 2011, Blippar have received a grand total of $99 million in 3 rounds from only 2 investors. Unfortunately, their initial funding before starting up is not disclosed. The first round of investment that is publicly available comes in March 2015 for $45 million, 4 years after it was founded. To date they employ 251 to 500 people. Another notable feature that makes Blippar stand out from the rest of the VR content creation start-ups is: "a self-service platform Blippbuilder, which enables license-holders... to build blipps into their products" this is later described to allow anyone to make their packaging or merchandise instantly interactive. Further more, in June 2015 Blippar reinvested in the VR industry through the company WaveOptics whom are stated to be "developing low-energy lenses that provide a live display for the wearer."

This company is detailed to: "create interactive 3D and VR experiences, and print-ready 4K photography, all with an automated system that is incredibly easy to use". Founded in October 2010, they have received a total of $61 million in 6 rounds of funding from 20 investors. Their first round of funding came in 2012 for a sum of $1.6 million. Despite this being 2 years after their start-up there is no indication that there was prior funding that is not publicly disclosed. They are reported to employ 101 to 250 people. They are described as the first company to provide an affordable way to create VR content. As they have grown in funding they have developed a mobile application to further facilitate ease of use.

8i
This company is described as follows: "8i creates 3D content to view on a virtual reality head-mounted display. 8i is using Oculus Rift technology to produce a new trademarked medium called Holographic Virtual Reality (HVR)". Founded in May 2014, 8i have received in total $41.48 million in funding in 3 rounds from 28 investors. They kicked off with $1.18 million in funding in August 2014 to fund their launch by 2015. Their most recent funding came in February 2017 for $27 million, depicting a huge increase in interest for VR creation content. They are also reported to have expanded their business from New Zealand (where they were founded) to Los Angeles and San Francisco. Currently they are reported to have 11 to 50 employees.


CONCLUSION

There is substantial funding popularity for start-ups in the VR content creation industry, with projections such as: "$150 billion in revenue by the year 2020". The market for VR content creation is on track to grow as the use of VR hardware is growing rapidly. The top three big players that operate solely in VR content creation are Blippar, Matterport and 8i. The more successful companies also feature VR software and hardware, and so have not been detailed in my findings.

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