Six months ago digital music events were seen as a quirky, niche part of the virtual reality (VR) industry which had potential. Now, that’s a different matter entirely as live in-person shows have all but stopped, requiring artists to find new online ways of connecting with fans. This has meant an increased interest in platforms like Wave (formerly called TheWaveVR), which has just announced the closure of a $30 million Series B funding round.
Led by Seattle VC firm Maveron in conjunction with Griffin Gaming Partners, the funding round also featured investors including NTT DOCOMO Ventures, Avex, Superfly Ventures, Convivialite Ventures, and Raised in Space. Existing investors include RRE Ventures, Upfront Ventures, The Venture Reality Fund, GFR Fund, and GC Tracker Fund. Plus there were entrepreneurs Scooter Braun, Alex Rodriguez, Superfly co-founder Rick Farman, and Twitch co-founder Kevin Lin. Hence the round was so successful.
Founded in 2016, this new round brings Wave’s total to $40 million. In that time Wave has collaborated with over 20 artists including Kill the Noise, TOKiMONSTA, Imogen Heap, REZZ, Jean-Michel Jarre and electronic violinist, Lindsey Stirling. Its virtual concerts are called ‘Waves’, each one is live with interactive and social features to give them a proper party vibe.
Waves are customised to an artist’s personal style rather than being set in a generic venue which can make for some visually impressive virtual concerts. With the new funding, the company plans to expand into other countries like Japan and China, whilst providing new in-stream experiences.
“We expect to see rapid advancement in the online capabilities of digital concerts from low budget streams to truly spectacular, culture defining events,” said Maveron Partner David Wu in a blog post. “Wave has the opportunity to become the gold standard by which all online live concert experiences are compared.”
Expect to see more from Wave as the platform continues to grow, available via Steam and Oculus store for free, supporting Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, Valve Index and Windows Mixed Reality headsets. As further announcements are made, VRFocus will let you know.