AmazeVR, a virtual reality concert platform that allows users to experience the VR concerts of their favorite artists through content generation tools, today announced that it has secured $ 15 million, which has been oversubscribed in three weeks.
Partners Investment and Murex Partners co-led the new financing, with participation from Smilegate Investment, Quantum Ventures Korea, ABC Partners, Everrich Group, GS Futures, the GS group venture capital firm, We Ventures, Base Investment and Dunamu & Partners; and previous funders Mirae Asset Venture Investment, Mirae Asset Capital, Partners Investment and Timewise Investment.
AmazeVR has raised a total of $ 30.8 million since its inception in 2015 and plans to raise a Series B in early 2022 to boost its rapid growth, the company said. AmazeVR co-CEO Ernest Lee told TechCrunch that the startup will use the new capital to hire additional staff. AmazeVR started 2021 with 12 employees, but now the company has tripled its team in Hollywood and Seoul with 41 employees, Lee noted.
“We have been able to attract the best talent from the [music, entertainment, tech and gaming] industries that we touch, ”Lee said. “This puts us in an ideal position to take full advantage of VR and the growing popularity of the Metaverse, as we deliver breathtaking VR concerts by major artists, first in theaters and then in homes. of the whole world.”
In the wake of social media, fans have unprecedented access to their favorite artists but are still screened apart. AmazeVR’s VR concerts take the fan across the screen to come face to face with their favorite artists to create a human connection, Lee said. Users would join as avatars, hang out with other users, and experience VR gigs together.
“Our goal is for the technology to be so good that it becomes invisible so that the fan’s memory is not that of a great VR experience, but is that they actually came face to face with their artists.” favorites in fantastic immersive environments, blurring the lines of reality, ”Lee said in an interview with TechCrunch.
Based in Los Angeles, with an office in Seoul, AmazeVR was founded by JB Lee, Steve Lee, Jeremy Nam and Steven Koo, all former executives of South Korean messaging app Kakao. After Kakao’s stock market debut, the four co-founders, who wanted to try again to build a business with global impact, uprooted their lives in Seoul and moved to Silicon Valley to develop the future in VR.
Lee said AmazeVR has been developing virtual reality technology since 2015 and fully embraced virtual reality concerts by the end of 2019.
The company believed in the need for a more immersive musical experience through VR concerts even before the pandemic; However, the music industry has felt a bit distant and skeptical, in large part because of concern over the cannibalization of live concerts, their most lucrative source of income, Lee said.
More recently, the coronavirus pandemic has accelerated market adoption, allowing AmazeVR to quickly find a suitable product for the market. As the music industry has also become more open to new technologies, people have started to realize that VR concerts are not live concerts but a new category of entertainment, Lee continued.
“The music industry is about to change the paradigm, and many companies have tried to innovate for the next big innovation. The pandemic has only accelerated this change as we’ve seen a lot of efforts ranging from live broadcasts to virtual concerts to Fortnite broadcasts, ”Lee told TechCrunch. “All of these other solutions only provide incremental value of what’s already there, and no other solution really captures the value of coverage for fans – a human connection.”
AmazeVR is rolling out its first commercial VR concert with 3 Grammy Award-winning Megan Thee Stallion for a tour of select AMC theaters across the United States this spring. Lee told TechCrunch that the company has already secured its second artist, a leading global artist, and finalized the third artist. His first VR concert tour stems from years of R&D and has resulted in proprietary 9K cameras and software that can automate complex engine-based unreal concert visual effects (VFX) modules and run over 100 headsets. at a time. The startup plans to expand its content creation, launching new VR concerts every week by 2024 for viewers both indoors and at home.
“You really have to experience our VR concerts to get a full idea of their impact. VR can finally blow the whole 2D experience out of the water. With our technology, we can evoke a real sense of presence that you just can’t get on a screen, the feeling that your favorite artist is here, face to face with you, ”said Lee. “It opens up a whole new dimension to music, one of the first new ways for artists and fans to connect since the recordings first appeared. We are delighted that investors understand this and are supporting us in innovation and growth.