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VR treadmill dev gets $3 million investment

VR treadmill dev gets $3 million investment

Thu 24 Apr 2014 2:48pm GMT / 10:48am EDT / 7:48am PDT
BusinessTechnology

Tekton Ventures and Maveron lead seed funding for creator of Kickstarted peripheral Omni

The Facebook acquisition of Oculus has dominated headlines, but it's far from the only investment in virtual reality taking place these days. Virtuix today announced that it had completed a $3 million round of seed investment that it will put towards the completion and sale of its Omni VR treadmill.

The Omni gained notoriety last year when Virtuix ran a successful Kickstarter campaign for the treadmill. The company had been seeking $150,000, but blew past that mark in under four hours, eventually raising $1.1 million to develop the technology, which works with VR headsets to let players move around instead virtual environments. Virtuix has more than 3,000 preorders for the $500 Omni, with treadmills expecting to start shipping to consumers this summer.

The seed funding round is being led by Tekton Ventures and Maveron, with additional participation from Scentan Ventures, Radical Investments, Scout Ventures, StartCaps Ventures, and private investors.

"We believe Virtuix's virtual reality technology will not only disrupt the immersive gaming landscape but will enable even more useful, personal and entertaining experiences in areas beyond gaming: training and simulation, fitness, medical, military," said Tekton founder and managing partner Jai Choi. "The Omni is just scratching the surface to the possibilities and we're honored to be working with Jan [Goetgeluk, Virtuix CEO] and the Virtuix team."

3 Comments

Popular Comment
While I welcome any investment in VR I hope they have done their due diligence. The Omni is very similar to our patented WizDish. Jan bought a prototype from us a few months before announcing his so his assertion that they looked for 2 years and could not find anything like it is false. We continue to develop and have filed 2 more patent applications. On that point, it says in other articles that the Omni is patent-pending. Does that mean they're using crowd-funding money to prevent the crowd from competing with them? Patents are usually for protecting your own investment and are thus an incentive for innovation.
I do think it's fantastic that investors are waking up to the potential of VR.

Posted:3 months ago

#1

Andrew Jakobs
Lead Programmer

223 83 0.4
Kickstarter has nothing to do with 'open source', it is a way to raising capital to start to develop your product without the need of some big company, but once you get the money to get started, there is no 'rule' which says you cannot find bigger investors (or sell the company), and certainly there is no 'rule' which prevents you from patenting your kickstarted product.. Some people seem to think crowdfunding is for getting 'open source' stuff, but that's a serious misunderstanding..

I'm looking forward to the Omni or any other VR 'threadmill'..

Posted:3 months ago

#2
Good point Andrew although I wasn't suggesting KS is open source or that bigger investors cannot be engaged.
The reason patents encourage innovation is that they compensate those with the ideas who put in the money and hard work to make something new a reality. Remember that those who copy have the advantage of not being saddled with the debts and favours accrued by the innovator. What I was wondering was whether funds intended for manufacture should be diverted to legal fees and most importantly whether its right to take money from people up front, for free, and use it against them?

Posted:3 months ago

#3

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