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HTC leads $10 billion consortium to invest in virtual reality

Posted on Jun 30, 2016 by David

HTC leads $10 billion consortium to invest in virtual reality

By Ian Sherr

 

The phone maker, whose Vive VR headset was released earlier this year, helps to form an investment consortium aimed at supporting "true innovation" in VR.

HTC is putting its VR money where its mouth is. - Josh Miller/CNET 

HTC is ponying up real-world money to support investment in virtual reality.

The Taiwanese phone maker said Thursday it has helped form the Virtual Reality Venture Capital Alliance, a consortium of 28 venture capital firms to invest in VR technology. The fund is made up of many well-known VC's, including early Apple and Google backer Sequoia Capital, Matrix Partners and 500 Startups.

"This is the first time such renowned VCs are joining hands at this scale to drive the future of a new industry, rather than competing to find the best deals for themselves," said Alvin Graylin, HTC's regional head in China, in a statement.

This isn't HTC's first attempt to become a key financial backer in the nascent VR industry. The company partnered with popular game maker Valve to create the Vive headset, VR goggles and sensors that hit store shelves in April. Around that time, the company also pledged $100 million to help fund VR content.

Other companies have been less vocal about their financial bets. Facebook purchased Oculus VR in 2014 for $2 billion, but hasn't since said how much it's spending on helping kickstart the industry. Google and Sony similarly have helped to pioneer new devices, like the Cardboard, the forthcoming Daydream and the PlayStation VR, but haven't put a dollar figure on their respective efforts.