SUNNYVALE, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--AmazeVR, a premium, cloud-based platform for high-quality VR content creation and mass distribution, today announced that it has raised an additional $7 million in funding to accelerate the development of proprietary VR content, created and distributed through the Amaze platform and its partners. The round was led by Mirae Asset Group (Mirae Asset Naver New Growth Fund & Mirae Asset Venture Investment), the leading independent financial services group in Asia, with participation from several strategic investors, including technology leader LG Technology Ventures, Timewise Investment, and Smilegate Investment, a subsidiary of Smilegate, which is building out a VR gaming / location-based entertainment business.
Additionally, AmazeVR announced a partnership with LG U+ to co-produce “must see content” in VR. LG U+ will also host AmazeVR content on its service as well as leverage AmazeVR’s proprietary content generation tools to make its own VR content production easier, as LG U+ works to release 1,500 VR experiences this year. The partnership comes as LG U+ is currently one of the leaders in the global telecom race to 5G. The company has asserted that cloud-based VR will become the next killer application and use case for 5G. LG Technology Ventures invested in AmazeVR as part of its strategy to further VR and next-generation displays.
“We believe cloud-based VR is the future, and AmazeVR has developed elegant technology that enables users to create and share interactive content very easily,” said Dong-Su Kim, CEO of LG Technology Ventures. “We are incredibly excited about how the AmazeVR platform will enable innovative, quality content to be generated at unprecedented scale and speed.”
Built for the Future
AmazeVR removes the key barriers to entry for mass VR adoption. It conquers one of the biggest hurdles -- compelling content-- by producing only high-quality 3D, 180-degree videos, using custom cameras built in-house. This commitment to a quality experience has been core to AmazeVR’s approach since it launched in April 2017. It became the #1 Free App in the Samsung Gear VR Oculus Store less than five months later, and AmazeVR has maintained its leadership position ever since, expanding across all major VR stores. AmazeVR was able to differentiate itself by developing premium content that is part of an expansive library which includes 20 interactive projects.
The company also recognized that in order to move the industry forward, all content shouldn’t be limited to what it could develop in-house. AmazeVR’s technology is ideally suited to for outside content creators that need easy-to-use tools to build their own branching narrative content in VR. AmazeVR’s proprietary content tools allow creators to rapidly produce interactive VR content without needing an entire team of engineers. And compared to commercial client stitching software, which can take hours to process a minute of high quality content, AmazeVR’s cloud service takes less than five minutes.
In addition to overcoming the content hurdle, AmazeVR offers a path for content creators to monetize their content, which has always been a struggle. AmazeVR now offers on-demand and Premium Pass models, through which users can purchase a single piece of premium content or a period-based subscription that gives users access to all premium content. Creators profit based on purchases of both Premium Passes and TVOD.
“AmazeVR sits at the forefront of VR innovation, successfully bucking conventional wisdom. We see no reason that VR content shouldn’t be compelling enough to support a Netflix model. To get there, we must devise mechanisms to inspire, assist, and reward content creators,” said Steve Lee, CEO of AmazeVR. “Our approach, commitment to quality, industry-leading technology, and strategic investors provide a path forward to make VR/AR the next great frontier for entertainment and personal displays.”
Developed by Visionaries
AmazeVR was developed by a seasoned team of Korean technology veterans who have worked together for more than seven years across six startups. Most recently, the AmazeVR team served as early executives of Kakao, developing product and executing on the vision for what has become an $8.7 billion market cap mobile platform company and one of the most successful businesses in Korea. Former Kakao co-founder and co-CEO, JB Lee (AmazeVR CPO), head of strategy, Steve Lee (AmazeVR CEO), senior software engineer, Jeremy Nam (AmazeVR CTO), and head of KakaoTalk messaging team, Steven Koo (AmazeVR head of engineering) went on to bootstrap AmazeVR in order to uninhibitedly focus on building the AmazeVR platform.
“We saw early on that smartphones would replace mobile phones, and one of the key contexts that would evolve would be communication, which we took advantage of at Kakao,” added Steve Lee. “We see a similar consumer paradigm shift on the horizon with VR/AR, and we are determined to lead the charge with a truly global platform designed to usher in this change.”
Founded by a team of seasoned technology leaders, AmazeVR offers an end-to-end VR content service. The company shares its platform and technology with passionate creators and various partners.
With custom equipment/tools, proprietary software, and a hands-on team, Amaze develops, curates, and produces VR content for those who want to be a part of the next wave of content creation. AmazeVR content is distributed through all major VR stores. The company is backed by Mirae Asset Group, LG Technology Ventures, Timewise Investment, and Smilegate Investment. It is based in Sunnyvale, California, with additional offices in West Hollywood. Learn more at www.amaze.us.
About Mirae Asset Financial Group
Mirae Asset Financial Group is a leading independent financial services group in Asia, the largest investment bank and the largest asset manager in South Korea, headquartered in Seoul, South Korea. On a global consolidated basis, total group’s client assets exceed US$375 billion (as of 31 Dec 2018). Mirae Asset has a presence in Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Korea, Mongolia, Singapore, the U.K., the United States, and Vietnam.
About LG Technology Ventures
LG Technology Ventures was established in 2018 and is the venture capital investment arm of the LG Group of South Korea. The LG Technology Ventures team consists of experienced investors, entrepreneurs, technologists, and industry domain experts. Currently, LG Technology Ventures is managing over $400 million of fund assets and invests in early-stage information technology, automotive, manufacturing, life-sciences, energy, and advanced materials companies. We strive to create value to our portfolio companies by helping them develop strategic partnerships with various LG Companies. For more information, visit www.lgtechventures.com.