Studio Behind Social VR App Rec Room Raises $24 Million in Funding

The Entire VR Industry in One Little Email

The Daily Roundup is our comprehensive coverage of the VR industry wrapped up into one daily email, delivered directly to your inbox. 

Against Gravity, the studio behind the popular social VR game Rec Room, has raised an addition $24 million in venture capital across two investment rounds.

Speaking to TechCrunch, Against Gravity says that it has raised $24 million in venture funding in previously undisclosed Series A and Series B rounds, led by VC firms Sequoia and Index Ventures. This reportedly brings the company’s total venture funding to $29 million.

It’s big news for Against Gravity, which has been increasingly focusing its social VR app Rec Room around user-generated content, and ensuring that the title is available on a wide range of headsets (and soon even mobile devices) allowing friends to connect easily across VR platforms (a point of significant friction between most VR platforms). The company tells TechCrunch that Rec Room is nearing 1 million user-created rooms. Additionally, the company’s emphasis on a family-friendly aesthetic gives it a more general appeal than something like VRChat, another social VR app which serves up subculture vibes.

Rec Room has seen increasing recognition from the VR community as a top social VR app; it’s still tiny, but may represent a growing threat to Facebook’s messy social VR approach which is fragmented even between the company’s own headsets.

Still, Facebook is surely a much larger threat to Rec Room than the other way around; like Apple with iOS, Facebook has the option to build deeper social features into the core VR software of its headsets—features which third-party developers aren’t allowed to build—like the ability to connect players across between separate VR applications.

Last month’s launch of Oculus Quest (on which Rec Room has been available since day one) was likely a moment of validation for Against Gravity and potential investors. Among the headsets on which Rec Room is available, Quest is far and away the easiest to use, making Rec Room’s brand of ‘what should we do today?’ fun that much more approachable.

However, Rec Room has been free from the start, and the company is still sorting out its long term monetization strategy, but—like any tech startup—is clearly most focused right now on user growth backed by VC funding.

Source: Read Full Article