Penrose Studios, the narrative VR content shop responsible for the critically acclaimed Allumette (free on Steam) and Arden’s Wake (featuring academy award winning actress Alicia Vikander) announced today it has closed a 10M series A round round of financing, led by TransLink Capital.
In addition to TransLink, this round includes new investors such as SalesForce founder and CEO Marc Benioff, Grammy-award winning artist will.i.am, Korea Telecom, Co-Made, and returning investors Sway Ventures, 8VC, and Suffolk Equity.
Penrose Studios launched a new VR series last year, Arden’s Wake, which has two installments, The Prologue and Tide's Fall. Arden’s Wake: The Prologue premiered at Tribeca Film Festival in 2017 and received the top Lion award from Venice Film Festival for Best VR. The second piece in the series, Arden’s Wake: Tide’s Fall, premiered at Tribeca earlier this year, and features Academy Award-winning actress Alicia Vikander (Best Supporting Actress, The Danish Girl 2016) and actor Richard Armitage (The Hobbit, Captain America: The First Avenger). Vikander gave Arden's Wake heroine Meena her voice. Arden's Wake tells the story of Meena, and her search for her troubled father, who disappeared during a deep-sea dive to retrieve artifacts from the ruins of formerly great skyscrapers on the ocean floor.
“In what is still an early form of storytelling and entertainment, the Penrose team has cracked the formula to create VR stories and experiences everyone can enjoy,” said Jay Eum, co-founder and managing director of TransLink Capital. “The company's unique technology paired with the beauty of its work speak for themselves. We're proud to work with the team and Penrose leadership to bring more VR entertainment to audiences around the world, especially in Asia.” According to its website, Translink Capital, based in San Jose, “has long-standing relationships with over 20 of the most significant Asian technology, Internet, electronic manufacturing services, and telecommunications services corporations in Greater China, Japan, and South Korea. These companies have invested in the TransLink Capital funds and have co-invested with us in our portfolio companies.”
Korea Telecom is also an investor, and particularly interested in 5G, Penrose Founder, CEO and content visionary (producer, writer, director), Eugene Chung, told me in a wide-ranging interview on Tuesday afternoon.