While many fans of virtual reality are eagerly awaiting the gaming aspects of the technology, which should explode on the scene later this year, there are numerous other VR applications which could really draw people into the technology over the course of the next couple of years. One non-gaming use for virtual reality is that of story telling. Think of VR storytelling as a movie that you can enter and interact with. While there are a number of such applications available for Android and iOS for those who have access to a smartphone and a headset, one company wants to inject a shot of excitement into this space.
That company is Penrose Studios, and today they’ve announced $8.5 million in seed funding. Penrose Studios, founded by former Oculus executive, Eugene Chun, obtained the funding from Accelerate-IT Ventures (AITV), TransLink Capital, Suffolk Equity and 8 Angel, with Accelerate-IT leading the round.
“This is a pivotal moment for us,” said Chung, founder and CEO of Penrose Studios. “We’ve come a long way from the early stages of this new medium. Today’s announcement marks a milestone for the industry as well as our studio.”
Penrose Studios does not rely on video for their story-telling, instead creating entire virtual worlds for you and I to enter and become a part of. The company is known for their latest story, “The Rose and I,” which was featured at both the Sundance and Tribeca film festivals, and in fact is preparing a second story called “Allumette,” which will premier sometime next month at both the Tribeca and Sundance film festivals.
“We’ve had our eye on the virtual reality industry for some time, and Penrose is creating something special in AR and VR,” AITV general partner Bill Malloy III said in a statement. “We want to see their work be taken to its fullest potential, and we look forward to watching what they do and supporting them along the way as VR continues to gain momentum in the technology and entertainment industries.”
With the virtual reality space expected to witness exponential growth over the coming years, this investment signifies that venture capitalists are well aware of the impending storm that’s about to hit. It will be interesting to see what Penrose uses this funding for and ultimately what they bring forth to the entertainment industry. Let’s hear your thoughts on this investment in the Penrose Seed Funding forum thread on VRTalk.com.