Oculus Rift Makers Raise $75 Million In New Funding
Virtual reality is getting closer to becoming mainstream technology, and one company is making sure of it. Tech company Oculus just got $75 million closer to perfecting the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset and making it available to the public.
Financial Backing For A Revolutionary Product
It was announced Thursday that venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz is the main backer in the large Series B financing. This follows the first round of funding, which raised $16 million for the product in June.
Along with the huge sum, Oculus will be gaining two new board members: Marc Andreessen himself and business partner Chris Dixon. The product itself convinced them to join.
Virtual reality has been a long standing dream in tech and sci-fi,” Dixon said in an interview with The Verge. “To me it always felt kind of inevitable but it was one of those things, you never knew quite when it would become a reality.”
Still, Andreessen and Dixon needed some convincing. They saw the first developer kit last year, basically a prototype available for those in the industry, and weren’t totally sold. But the product’s progress since then has been steady. “The dimensions where you need to improve this kind of VR are latency, resolution and head tracking, and they have really nailed those things,” Dixon said to The Verge.
While $75 million is a sizable chunk of change for a company that has yet to release a product, Oculus CEO Brendan Iribe says the company needs it all.
The reality is, going into the consumer market with a full platform as expansive as this at high volume… really takes a significant investment,” Iribe said to The Verge. “You look at the cost of goods at the hardware side, setting up the infrastructure… it’s pretty easy to do the math.”
Popularity And Features
The Oculus Rift may not be available for consumers just yet, but even the developer kits are popular. About 40,000 have already been sold, according to the Verge, and the company expects to sell another 30,000 by the time the product is ready for consumers.
The device lets wearers look around them in every direction and seamlessly shows the surrounding environment. It’s meant to create a “natural and intuitive experience,” according to the official site. The Oculus Rift even takes into account things like depth and scale, and the virtual reality encompasses a wearer’s entire field of vision for total immersion.