With the release of the Vive headset, HTC became one of the most notable companies in the Virtual Reality field, and now, following the GSMA Mobile World Congress in Shanghai earlier this week, it appears that HTC’s influence in the VR market is bound to increase. During the said event, HTC announced the Virtual Reality Venture Capital Alliance (VRVCA on short), consisting of 30 VR investment companies working together to help other, smaller VR startups lift their projects off the ground. The group is led by the president of VR at HTC China, Alvin Wang Graylin, and the investors have a “deployable capital” of $10 billion.
The idea behind the VRVCA is quite straight-forward. 30 VR investment companies, including HTC Vive, The VR Fund, China eCapital, Immersion Ventures, and Colopl VR Fund, have formed an alliance with the main purpose of helping startup VR companies make their products a reality. The official webpage states that the VRVCA believes “VR is a transformative technology that will revolutionize entire industries”, and that “in order to achieve that dream”, the alliance is working tirelessly to help VR startups “get the resources they need”. Startup companies working with Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, and Mixed Reality can pitch their products to the VRVCA, ranging from hardware, platforms, tools and technologies, to accessories and peripherals. The projects that can spark the alliance’s interest the most are more likely to be funded, but it should be noted that, according to the official VRVCA website, the alliance is “not searching for the next technology revolution because it is already here. We are searching for the next entrepreneur to lead it”. Either way, anyone willing to pitch their projects to the VRVCA is required to include details regarding their monetization approach, team background, product features / design, the amount of funding needed, or “whatever you think will catch our [VRVCA] attention”.
The Virtual Reality Venture Capital Alliance will meet 6 times per year in both San Francisco and Beijing, at which times the investors will discuss various aspects of the business and choose what startups they may want to fund. In essence, this means that there are 6 opportunities to pitch every year, which might fuel a healthy competition between entrepreneurs wanting to get their products and projects under the spotlight. Great competition can lead to great products, which should lead to a faster-growing VR / AR market overall.