VR technologies are going to be requiring a shit ton of capital as they look to make the crossover from R&D phases to mass market adoption. HTC is certainly looking to do its part to make sure that the headset technologies it is building have a broader ecosystem to fall into.
Today, at the GSMA Mobile World Congress in Shanghai, HTC Vive announced a $10 billion initiative to put the investment weight of much of the industry on the back of itself and its partners, which include a number of VR-centric VC houses in addition to more staple firms like Sequoia Capital and Redpoint Ventures.
In all, there will be 27 firms joining HTC Vive in the VR Venture Capital Alliance (VRVCA). Alvin Wang Graylin, China Regional President of VR at HTC, will head up the “Alliance.”
This is HTC’s most substantial show of leadership in VR investment to date. The company previously debuted a $100 million Vive X accelerator fund in April of this year for startups in the virtual reality space.
If that $10 billion number seems a bit staggering for a VR fund, good job at being skeptical. While the VRVCA will undoubtedly be dropping quite a bit of cash into portfolio companies, the $10 billion refers to the amount of “deployable capital” that the combined weight of the firms has at its disposal, not necessarily the amount they are strictly dedicating to VR investments.
The VRVCA will be meeting every two months in SF and Beijing to hear from companies hoping to raise some funds to power their ideas. VR startups looking to get their piece of that $10 billion deployable pie can submit pitch decks to the VRVCA today for review. With such a wide breadth of VCs included in the group, it looks like the Alliance is looking to cast a rather wide net across industry verticals in the mixed, augmented and virtual reality spaces.