8i, a Wellington, New Zealand-based virtual reality startup, raised $13.5m in funding.
Backers included RRE Ventures, Founders Fund Science, Horizons Ventures, Signia Venture Partners, Samsung Ventures, Dolby Family Ventures, Bertelsmann Digital Media Investments, Sound Ventures, Inevitable Ventures, Freelands and Advancit Capital. Other investors include Kevin Wall, Jeremy Stoppelman, John and Andrew Hendricks, End Cue and Kortschak Investments, as well as VR investors Rothenberg Ventures and Boost VC.
Founded in May 2014 by CEO Linc Gasking, 8i is building a consumer media platform that enables users to create, experience and share immersive lifelike 3D video of real people. Its proprietary software transforms regular video from cameras into realistic experiences for VR, AR (augmented reality), and the web. It enables true 3D (fully volumetric) video of people, enabling to move around in a VR environment, while delivering realism of human movements, face and hair.
Founded in 8i has since expanded to Los Angeles and San Francisco.
The company, which has also announced the opening of its showcase studio in Culver City, Los Angeles, plans to offer free access to the recording studios in addition to community events such as workshops, demonstrations and introductions to the technology.