Chinese Virtual Reality device manufacturer ANTVR announced it has received RMB 300 million (USD 46 million) in Series B financing from Chinese second board-listed surveillance solution provider Gosuncn, which is alleged to boost ANTVR’s valuation to RMB 830 million (USD 128 million).
It’s estimated that after this round of financing, GOSUNCN will hold a 36% stake in ANTVR. Prior to this, ANTVR received USD ten million in funding from Sequoia Capital at the end of 2014.
ANTVR was founded in 2013 with a seed investment from the Beijing-based incubator Makerspace. The virtual reality firm launched a crowdfunding project for its all-in-one universal kit on Kickstarter in 2014 raising USD 260,834 from 681 backers.
Its latest all-in-one headset was sold for RMB 1499 (USD 231) with its VR glasses product ‘TAW’ selling at the lower price of RMB 149 (USD 23). The ANTVR headset features compatibility with all VR simulations, 3D movies and games. ANTVR has also developed a VR Camera which can shoot 169 degree views.
ANTVR was regarded as the Chinese Oculus after its successful Kickstarter campaign despite its founder Qing Zheng insisting that ANTVR is on a different technical track.
“Only when you achieve a naturally projected image, broad view and high clarity can you simulate genuine virtual reality. ANTVR aren’t adopting the same technologies as Oculus, we’re using a brand-new idea,” Qing wrote in a technical analysis piece. “ANTVR has had its own idea of differentiation from the very beginning.”
The differentiation ANTVR offers may explain why ANTVR has attracted a different type of investor compared with other VR companies. DeePoon, another VR manufacturer from China, introduced two investors: the video streaming site, Thunder, and game developer, KingNet, last week, both of which are in related fields for VR content development.
In contrast ANTVR’s new investor, the Guangzhou-based company, Gosuncn focuses on public security. The company was founded in 1997 with expertise in high-resolution surveillance and a city security system named Safe City.
ANTVR’s financing announcement is part of a string of significant news in the Chinese VR sector announced at the end of 2015. Earlier this month, Chinese social network leader, Tencent, and video streaming site and smart device manufacturer, LeTV, both announced the launch of businesses in the VR sector.
Additionally, VR startup DeePoon announced it raised USD 30 million in funding from two Xiaomi-backed companies, while leading VR platform builder, FiresVR, introduced its developer kit, Fires VR Dawn SDK V0.9 in the middle of December.
Read more about our predictions for the Chinese VR business in 2016 here.