HTC starts $100 mn investment fund for VR start-ups

HTC CEO Cher Wang
HTC Corporation on Tuesday announced its $100 million investment fund targeted at start-ups operating in the virtual reality (VR) space.

Vive X program is designed to grow the global VR ecosystem by supporting start-ups and providing them with expertise, special access to advanced VR technology, financial investment, mentorship and go-to-market support – building them into valuable content producers or content enablers for the Vive platform.

IDC says shipments of Virtual Reality (VR) hardware volumes will reach 9.6 million units in 2016. The VR market is expected to generate hardware revenues of approximately $2.3 billion in 2016 fuelled by Led by key products from Samsung, Sony, HTC, and Oculus.

VR will drive nearly all of the hardware volume in 2016, while Augmented Reality (AR) hardware is forecast to ramp up over the next few years. The device markets will see hardware shipments cross 110 million units in 2020.

HTC will start Vive X program in three cities – Beijing, Taipei and San Francisco, with a view to rolling out across other global hubs in the near future.

Vive X offers access to funding, leading VR know-how, hands-on coaching, and office space to VR start-ups.

HTC said Vive X will pilot in Beijing in May 2016, when selected start-ups from around Asia will be invited to apply for the program, with the goal of enabling those companies to grow with the Vive platform. The program is open to companies from any industry that are creating content, tools, applications and accessories that enrich the VR ecosystem and end-user experience.

“Virtual reality is changing the world, yet to do that effectively it needs a healthy eco-system to expand into the mass market. Through HTC Vive, we look forward to enabling global talent to create interesting and compelling content and to help shape the future of this industry,” said Cher Wang, chairwoman and CEO of HTC.