Silicon Valley assess European VR

EU VR landscape
Neal Romanek
February 8th 2017 at 10:40AM : By Neal Romanek

The Venture Reality Fund released its European virtual reality landscape to depict the growth in the European VR ecosystem, with the hope of increasing investment

Silicon Valley-based venture firm The Venture Reality Fund (The VR Fund) has released its first-ever European virtual reality (VR) landscape, which features dozens of companies developing infrastructure, tools and apps for the VR ecosystem. The company released its AR (augmented reality) landscape last autumn. 

The landscape was created in partnership with LucidWeb, the French VR and webVR consulting and development agency, to depict the growth in the ecosystem, with the hope of increasing investment and growing international impact.

The European VR landscape is based on research gathered during meetings and calls with regional VR providers across Europe. Close to 300 VR startups were identified and reviewed, of which 116 were selected to be part of the first release of the VR Landscape Europe.

“We chose to partner with LucidWeb as they have a strong database of top VR startups in Europe and valuable familiarity with the European ecosystem,” says Tipatat Chennavasin, co-founder and general partner at The Venture Reality Fund. “These landscapes are a visual representation of our commitment to education and growth of the industry.”

According to the report, the VR gaming industry remains the most competitive space with well-funded companies including CCP Games (Iceland), nDreams (United Kingdom), Resolution Games (Sweden) and Solfar Studios (Iceland).

More than half of the companies included in the landscape are based in United Kingdom, France, Germany and Sweden. France is taking the lead in VR in continental Europe.

User input technology, focused on interactions in VR by brain (BCI), body, eye, feet and hand, has many premium players, such as the Swiss-based company Mindmaze that raised $100 million, said to be the largest amount raised in one round by any European VR company.

Reality capture concentrated on 360° video and software and next generation technology (photogrammetry), is prominent. Two French-based companies, VideoStitch and Giroptic, are at the forefront.

Enterprise is gaining traction with real estate VR generating significant additional revenue for online agencies across Europe. Swedish-based Diakrit and Dutch company TheConstruct are two companies leading the charge.

French company Homido, Mindmaze and Swedish-based company Starbreeze are the most advanced hardware companies developing a mobile Head Mounted Display (HMD) or tethered HMD.

Companies in VR post-production are developing 3D tools, which leading American software companies have acquired over the past two years: Google acquired Irish Thrive Audio, Facebook acquired Scotland-based Two Big Ears, and Snapchat acquired London-based Seen/Obvious Engineering.

Healthcare and fitness companies are utilising VR for medical training, mental treatments (anxiety, Asperger’s syndrome) and physical rehabilitation. Spanish-based Psious and Amsterdam-based MDLinking are two companies to watch in this category.

The VR Fund releases updated VR and AR industry landscapes quarterly, which can be found under the Resources tab of The Venture Reality Fund’s site.