Japanese Company Creates $12 Million Virtual Reality Fund
Gree is a Japanese game developer whose generating around a billion dollars per year in revenue through mobile games. However, the company now is changing directions as they recently developed a $12 million fund that’s meant strictly for virtual reality applications and gaming.
It’s yet another sign of how companies are beginning to take virtual reality very seriously. There are many other companies who are doing the same thing as for creating virtual reality funds. Some of the other companies include Colopl, Venture Reality Fund and Presence Capital among others who aim to put significant resources into virtual reality and augmented reality initiatives. The managing director of Gree VR Capital in San Francisco, is Teppie Tsutsui. He said, “It’s become a very interesting area, and we are pretty excited about doing this. We are pretty committed to mobile gaming, but there’s another emerging platform for the industry.”
The company created their own VR studio this past November to create VR games. However, the bigger opportunity for them comes by working with other well-funded companies who are getting into virtual reality as well.
Tsutsui said, “For now, we are focused on the North American market, but that doesn’t mean we are not looking at a global scale.”
Gree created a $10 million dollar fund a few years back to invest in mobile gaming throughout North America. Their plan was to boost games on their Gree platform. The company is now planning on investing in augmented reality as well. They made a game called Sarah and the Viper’s Crown which can be experienced on Google Cardboard. They’re going to be launching a new virtual reality game that’s set up for the Samsung Gear VR, named Tomb of the Golems.
As of now, Gree has made 2 virtual reality investments. One of the investments is VRChat, which is a platform that enables people ego develop, publish and explore virtual reality environments with people across the globe. The other VR investment made by Gree is called Spaces. Spaces isn’t saying yet what they’re doing. Gree’s virtual reality fund includes outside partnerships such as Mixi and Colopl VR Fund as well.
Naoki Aoyagi, the Senior Vice President of Gree, said, “The GVR Fund highlights Gree’s commitment to the potential of virtual reality as an emerging platform. We not only see ourselves as a content developer but as an investor as well. We want to create same values we successfully did in the past through investments in companies when the mobile platform took off.”