Securing investment is an important undertaking of any studio or developer involved in the virtual reality (VR) industry, as it grows and the consumer bases becomes larger. Today Baobab Studios, the award-winning animation team behind Invasion!, has announced its secured $25 million USD in a Series B funding round, bringing its total funding acquisitions to $31 million.
The round saw original investors Comcast Ventures, HTC and Samsung return with Horizons Ventures with Twentieth Century Fox leading the new round, Evolution Media Partners (backed by TPG and CAA), China’s Shanghai Media Group, Youku Global Media Fund and LDV Partners.
“I’m excited to invest again seeing Baobab Studios has completed an already stellar team of ex-Zynga executive Maureen Fan, master storyteller Eric Darnell and narrative technology veteran, Larry Cutler. This cast is set to define the grammar of storytelling and experiences in VR,” explains Phil Chen, previously the founder of VIVE and now at Horizons Ventures to explore VR/AR. “Baobab Studios is the pioneer of VR storytelling and technology, and their traction and reception by partners, audiences and tastemakers has been phenomenal.”
Baobab Studios has expanded its executive team with Pixar’s technical director for Toy Story 2 and Monsters Inc. Larry Cutler joining as chief technology officer (CTO). Cutler also judges for the Academy Awards’ Technical Achievement Awards, and is co-founder of DigiPro. Chris Milk, the founder and CEO of Within has been appointed to the studio’s advisory board, bringing with him a long history of creating and inventing innovative products.
“We are on the cusp of a storytelling revolution with this medium, and VR gives filmmakers the opportunity to develop immersive experiences and take audiences into the story like never before,” says Mike Dunn, President, Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment and Fox Innovation Lab. “Baobab Studios is an innovator in this space, and we look forward to working with them.”
Baobab is most well known for its VR animation short Invasion!, which stars a lovable bunny rabbit and some accident prone aliens. The second instalment of the series Asteroids! is scheduled for release in 2017.
“So far we’ve seen record downloads of Invasion! by VR users, and our investors see the promise of this type of entertainment,” explains Maureen Fan, CEO, co-founder, Baobab Studios. “The only thing better than launching a new product in an innovative industry is having amazing validation from partners and consumers.”
For all the latest news on Baobab Studios, keep reading VRFocus.