The Austin-based VR startup SubVRsive announced the closing of a $4 million Series A on Monday, led by a sole investment from WPP.
SubVRsive, which launched in August 2015, creates live, 360 degree virtual reality experiences for brands. Some of the companies they’ve partnered with include Lionsgate, MTV, Marc Jacobs, Comcast and Budweiser.
In 2016, their work with Showtime Networks earned them a Sports Emmy nomination in the Outstanding Digital Innovation category for creating the first ever VR-developed boxing match.
“If our experience in immersive storytelling has taught us anything, it’s that virtual reality and augmented reality are fundamentally redefining the ways in which brands connect with their audiences,” said Fiona Hutcheson, SubVRsive’s director of marketing, in a statement. “While the sight, sound, and motion of traditional video allow brands to explain their benefits to consumers, the immersive nature of virtual reality allows consumers to experience those benefits for themselves – and that experience is captivating.”
In conjunction with the funding news, SubVRsive also announced the welcoming of a new CEO. Johannes Larcher has been hired to lead the Austin team and joins the startup after previously serving on the executive leadership team at Hulu. Larcher also has previous experience at Overture Services — now known as Yahoo! Search — and as CEO of Academy 123, which Discovery Communications acquired in 2006.
Austin Mace, SubVRsive’s founder, will work alongside Larcher as the company’s Chief Creative Officer.
“Between the recent investment by WPP and the appointment of Johannes as our CEO, we’ve created a strong foundation on which to build,” said Hutcheson in a statement. “We look forward to what’s to come as we continue to push the boundaries of storytelling in virtual and augmented reality.”
SubVRsive will use the funds to continue growing their team and accelerate growth. Hutcheson said a number of positions are open right now including a full stack VR developer, a motion graphics designer, a VP of business development, and a VP of finance.
"We're gearing up for an incredibly busy year and will quickly be expanding our team beyond these positions," said Hutcheson. "We are looking for the best talent in the industry and are interested in hearing from anyone with experience in VR who feels they could contribute to our team regardless of whether we have an opening posted."
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