Shanghai-based virtual reality company DeePoonVR announced it has raised USD 30 million in a B-series funding on Friday, which boosts the company’s valuation to RMB 800 million (USD 125 million). Both investors, Thunder, China’s biggest torrent downloading platform and gaming company KingNet, are backed by Chinese smartphone manufacturer Xiaomi.
Though Xiaomi has indicated a passive attitude toward the virtual reality space, this investment may imply increasing interest from companies within the Xiaomi galaxy.
“We are excited about the potential of V.R. technology, which we believe is still in its early stages of development, and we’re watching this space closely,” Hugo Barra, Vice President of Xiaomi said in an interview with The New York Times. The new move confirms Xiaomi is paying close attention to the field.
The VR company DeePoonVR was founded in April 2014. It claims to have raised tens of millions in a USD A-series funding in October with an exact amount not disclosed, according to IT Juzi.
DeePoon launched a crowdfunding project for its Oculus Rift-like “E2 DeePoon” VR helmet in June, and successfully raised RMB 1.1 million (USD 174,724) on JD.com’s crowdfunding platform. The price of the E2 DeePoon helmet is set at RMB 1799 (USD 281). The helmet is claimed to be 99% compatible with VR content developed for the Oculus Rift.
Photo from Sohu
DeePoonVR has a VR content aggregator application, 3D Bobo, with over 1.5 million users and also has established an open source developer platform providing DeePoon’s SDK to content developers.
With strong resources in both content and platforms, Thunder and KingNet have announced collaborative projects with DeePoonVR related to product management, cloud service, platform building and game development in the future.
Thunder is a NASDAQ-listed company with allegedly 300 million monthly active users strongly interested in videos and games. These users are most likely to be potential VR users.
It’s reported that KingNet will further invest in VR video game development, developing a VR version of its hit game MU Miracle with DeePoonVR in 2016.
In the past two months, at least five Chinese companies have announced their 2016 plans or related products for the virtual reality sector including: Chinese social network mogul Tencent, smart device manufacturer LeTV, video streaming company Baofeng, VR pioneering startup Fireworks and the DeePoonVR-alliance as announced today.