Augmented reality and virtual reality (AR/VR) are poised to be the next platform focus for some of the world’s largest tech companies. Recently, Facebook and Apple have reportedly been allocating more than 1000 workers each to their respective AR/VR efforts, and several patents in Snapchat’s portfolio indicate a hunger for AR/VR that may be incorporated into their video-capturing Spectacles. Unsurprisingly, the hype has been starkly visible in the investment landscape — deals to AR/VR exploded by 60% in Q1’17.
We used CB Insights database to round up the most active investors (including accelerators) since 2012 in one infographic and rank them by investments into unique VR/AR companies.
The majority of the names in the list are well-known accelerators or venture funds specifically chartered for AR/VR investment. Interestingly, the sole corporate investor listed is Intel Capital, but its presence is hardly a surprise given that Intel has been the most active player in the IoT and has also released designs for its mixed-reality headset called Project Alloy.
Key takeaways on the most active investors:
- * Rothenberg Ventures was the most active investor in the space. With an investment thesis centered around so-called “frontier tech” categories, it’s no surprise that Rothenberg leads in AR/VR activity. The firm’s River Accelerator specializes in seed-stage VR and AR startups. Some of the latest deals include surgical robotics and VR medtech company Vicarious Surgical, along with social experiences maker VRChat.
- * In second was boostVC, an accelerator focused on blockchain tech and virtual reality. Boost’s latest bet is Vizor, a Finland-based VR content creation platform.
- * Third most active was Vive X, an accelerator established by VR headset maker HTC. The accelerator’s latest batch has startups working in everything from enterprise tools (Snobal) to soccer athletic training (Soccerdream).