As we’ve not all been able to meet up over the last year, online social apps designed to fill that gap have grown, with Rec Room testament to that. The social gaming platform has announced the success of a new funding round, raising $100m USD whilst giving it a valuation of $1.25 billion.
Originally launched in 2016 as a dedicated virtual reality (VR) app for PC VR, Rec Room has expanded support to headsets like Oculus Quest as well as diversifying into non-VR territory with iOS, PlayStation 4, Xbox One and eventually Android later this year. This has led the Rec Room to see a massive shift in where its users come from. Now with 15 million lifetime users, VR equates to about 25% of the platform’s user base.
“We’ve had strong growth over the last 12 months,” Rec Room CEO Nick Fajt told GamesBeat. “We think that Rec Room can become an enduring large business that fuses games and social. We think this can be one of those things that really impacts culture. We think it can be one of the biggest games in the world. And so we really want to invest in that future.”
Hence why the funding round led by Index Ventures and Sequoia Capital, with Madrona Venture Group also contributing, was so successful. This sees Rec Room’s total funding to date hit $149 million, with plans to expand its employee numbers from just under 100 to over 150 by 2021.
Fajt still remains positive about the XR industry and Rec Room’s place within it: “It looks like an interesting challenge as we move forward in AR and VR and I hope Rec Room can play a big role in defining what that looks like. There are some interesting headsets coming, and we saw a nice big audience on Oculus Quest 2.”
While Rec Room is aimed towards a teen audience it is encouraging all creators to come and build their own rooms, they’ll even be able to make money from it. This is because of Rec Room’s new Creator Compensation programme which is expected to payout $1 million+ during 2021. VRFocus will continue its coverage of the social platform, reporting back with further updates.