The virtual reality concert platform, AmazeVR, has raised fresh funding of $15 million to drive its rapid growth. The company has now raised a total of $30.8 million since its inception in 2015 and plans to raise a Series B in early 2022.
According to Co-CEO Ernest Lee, the company plans to invest the money towards hiring additional headcount. The company began 2021 with 12 employees but has now tripled its team in Hollywood and Seoul, with 41 employees.
“We’ve been able to attract top talent from the [music, entertainment, tech, and gaming] industries we touch,” Lee said. “This puts us in an ideal position to take full advantage of VR and the metaverse’s growing popularity, as we deliver breathtaking VR concerts from major artists, first to theaters, then to homes worldwide.”
The Los Angeles-based company was founded by JB Lee, Steve Lee, Jeremy Nam, and Steven Koo, all former executives of South Korean messaging app Kakao. AmazeVR has been developing VR technologies since 2015 and pivoted entirely into VR concerts in late 2019.
The company aimed to deliver a more immersive music experience through VR concerts way before the pandemic. Still, the industry wasn’t very welcoming due to a concern for competition with live concerts. However, the current situation has created new demand for the product, allowing it to upscale its operations rapidly.
“The music industry is due for a paradigm shift, and many companies have been trying to innovate the next big thing. The pandemic only accelerated this shift as we’ve seen many endeavors spanning from live streams to virtual concerts to Fortnite shows,” said Lee. “All of these other solutions only provide incremental value from what already exists, and no other solution truly captures the cover value for fans – a human connection.”
AmazeVR has partnered with 3-time Grammy winner Megan Thee Stallion for its first commercial VR concert to tour select AMC Theatres across the US. The company is working towards onboarding more artists rapidly. The first project will be an output of years of R&D that resulted in proprietary 9K cameras and software to automate complex unreal engine-based VR concert visual effects (VFX) modules and run more than 100 headsets at a time.
“You really need to experience our VR concerts to get a full grasp of how impactful they are. VR can finally blow all 2D experiences out of the water. Thanks to our technology, we can evoke a real sense of presence you can’t get from a screen, the feeling that your favorite artist is right here, face to face with you,” Lee added. “This opens up a new dimension for music, one of the first new ways for artists and fans to connect since recordings appeared. We’re thrilled that investors are grasping this and are supporting us as we innovate and grow.”
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