Starbreeze AB and Acer Inc. have today announced that a new capitalisation plan has been agreed for the StarVR Corporation; the joint venture for marketing and sales of the StarVR virtual reality (VR) headset. Under the new agreement, Acer will invest $5 million USD into the joint venture and increase its interest to 66.7%. Starbreeze will be relieved from its remaining capital commitment of $7.5 million and its interest will be 33.3%.
The joint venture, originally announced in June 2016, was created with a capitalisation plan of up to $25 million to be shared equally between Starbreeze and Acer through capital injections on a set schedule. As of today, a total of $10 million has been injected into the company in equal amounts by the two parties. Under the new arrangement, Acer will provide a capital injection of $5 million into the joint venture. No further capital injections have been agreed, but the parties are proceeding in their support of the joint venture. As majority owner Acer will be able to facilitate future financing for StarVR Corporation should further capital needs arise.
“Starbreeze remains fully dedicated to the field of VR where we see great potential in the development of location-based VR that gives users access to premium VR experiences. We have pushed design and technical innovation to fruition in our StarVR collaboration with Acer. Starbreeze will continue to push innovation in the headset and focus on its core business – content. Our games and related premium VR experiences will primarily use the StarVR headset for location-based VR centers and we are eager to continue contributing to the success of StarVR,” says Starbreeze CEO Bo Andersson Klint.
“VR is one of Acer’s key focus areas, as we continue to make huge strides across hardware, software and content development to unlock its potential. The increase of Acer’s stake in StarVR underlines our commitment to the industry, and we look forward to continuing to deliver best-in-class VR experiences through our successful partnership with Starbreeze and ongoing technological innovation,” says Acer Chairman and CEO Jason Chen.
Starbreeze continues to hold StarVR-related intellectual property rights, including patents and trademarks related to InfinitEye, StarVR (headset), ePawn and the StarVR SDK (Software Development Kit). Acer continues to hold patents related to electrical engineering, mechanical design and ergonomics that are used in the headset. R&D and reference design for the StarVR headset will also be carried out by Starbreeze and Acer going forward.
The StarVR headset is being developed as a high-quality VR product primarily for the out-of-home entertainment sector, where the main differentiation against other VR headsets aimed at a professional market is the 210-degree field of view with 5K resolution. The purpose of the joint venture is to sell the StarVR system to location-based VR centers, amusement parks and various B2B segments, such as real estate sales, the automobile industry, medical devices and education.
The joint venture manages a sales organisation and aftermarket support. Under the terms of the joint venture, Starbreeze owns and controls IP rights related to StarVR, while Acer manufactures the product. R&D and reference design work for the StarVR headset will be carried out jointly by Starbreeze and Acer.
The StarVR head-mounted display (HMD) has already made its public debut at the IMAX VR Center, Los Angeles, and this agreement will inevitably lead to Acer rolling out more instances of the hardware for out-of-home entertainment centres. VRFocus will keep you updated with all the latest details on the StarVR HMD, and both Acer and Starbreeze’s VR initiatives.