NextVR receives Chinese investment

Chinese investment group CITIC Guoan has said it has made an investment of $20m (€18.1m) in US live-action virtual reality broadcast technology company NextVR.

CITIC Guoan, which is part of state-owned investment giant CITIC Group, said it has acquired Class B shares representing 2.3 per cent of NextVR’s total equity.

NextVR is continuing to seek fresh capital. In November, the company sealed a $30.5m Series A funding round with participation from leading names in sports and entertainment. Investors in the Series A round included Time Warner Investments, the strategic investing arm of US media group Time Warner Inc and Comcast Ventures, the venture capital affiliate of US mass media firm Comcast.

Other investors included Peter Guber, chairman and chief executive of Mandalay Entertainment, co-owner of NBA basketball franchise the Golden State Warriors, MLB baseball franchise Los Angeles Dodgers and Major League Soccer expansion team Los Angeles FC.

RSE Ventures, a sports and entertainment venture firm co-founded by Stephen Ross and Matt Higgins operating and investing in new technologies and companies such as club football competition the International Champions Cup and NFL American football team Miami Dolphins, also invested along with the Madison Square Garden Company and live event programming producer Dick Clark Productions.

NextVR has a strong presence in the sports industry with a wealth of partnerships with leagues and other organisations. In May, the NBC Sports Group division of US media company NBCUniversal linked up with NextVR to present coverage of this year’s Kentucky Derby US horse-racing event.

The initiative marked the first occasion that NBC Sports had presented coverage of a major sports event in virtual reality.