NextVR secures Asian investment, targets global growth

Virtual reality broadcast technology company NextVR is targeting global expansion after receiving significant funding from a raft of high-profile investors.

NextVR has raised $80m (€71.8m) in Series B funding, with Asian investors to the fore. Chinese investment group CITIC Guoan, which last month said it had invested $20m in NextVR, is among the companies to be listed as backers.

Other Chinese investors include internet technology and online gaming company NetEase, media and entertainment company CMC Holdings and investment firm Founder H Fund.

Japanese telecommunications company SoftBank, Hong Kong-based VMS Investments Group, the China Assets Limited investment fund and California-based early-stage fund Spectrum 28 are also among the investors.

“With this new funding, we will continue to build NextVR's virtual reality platform to meet the needs of the world's largest fan bases around live sports and music content,” Brad Allen, NextVR’s executive chairman, said. “Having the support of Asia's biggest players provides us with significant resources for creating and distributing both local and international content in China, Korea, and Japan.”

NextVR last November sealed a $30.5m Series A round of funding. Backers included Time Warner Investments, the strategic investing arm of US media group Time Warner Inc; Comcast Ventures, the venture capital affiliate of US mass media firm Comcast; and Peter Guber, chairman and chief executive of Mandalay Entertainment, which co-owns NBA basketball team the Golden State Warriors, MLB baseball franchise Los Angeles Dodgers and Major League Soccer expansion team Los Angeles FC.

Other Series A investors included sports and entertainment venture RSE Ventures, the Madison Square Garden Company and live event programming producer Dick Clark Productions. Formation 8, a firm with a track record of successful virtual reality investments, led the first funding round. All of the investors from the Series A round of funding were also involved in the Series B round.

Sporting events to have been covered by NextVR include pre-season club football tournament the International Champions Cup, US golf major the Masters and US horseracing event the Kentucky Derby. NextVR recently teamed up with MLB Advanced Media, the interactive media and internet arm of Major League Baseball, and is also a partner of the Fox Sports division of US network Fox.