Movie studios, media companies and smart money VCs are all investing heavily into AR/VR. We mapped out the startup landscape.

Funding to AR/VR startups reached an all-time high in deals and dollars last year. But with few exciting deals in the past few months and an absence of positive news or apparent progress from stealthy AR headset startup Magic Leap, interest in augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR) technology seemed like it could be heading to the “trough of disillusionment.”

More recently, however, the tenor of the discussion has changed. PlayStation said its PSVR, a $400 headset released in October, was on track to sell over 1M units before April (the iPhone 1, for reference, sold 1.4M in its first 3 months and is regarded among the best tech releases ever). It also came to light that Apple allegedly has 1,000 engineers in Israel working on an AR headset.

Over $3.4B to AR/VR startups
Get the full list of startups and investors featured on our AR/VR market map. As an added bonus, we'll send you the disclosed funding values for each company.

With AR/VR hype back on the upswing, we used CB Insights data to create a market map of startups in the space, with a new approach that categorizes companies by where they sit in the full tech “stack,” starting from hardware all the way down to distribution.

Note: While some companies may fit into multiple categories and parts of the stack, we mapped companies based on their primary use-case. This market map is not meant to be exhaustive of companies in the space. Click to enlarge.

ARVR Stack Final 9

The category breakdown is as follows:

  • Hardware / Enablement

    • Headset Makers—companies developing dedicated headset technology. Magic Leap, with $1.4B in funding, is far and away the most well-funded private company. The company’s headset, still unreleased, employs retinal projection to superimpose images mapped onto the wearer’s surroundings.

    • Position, Eye & Gesture Tracking—startups working on tracking hardware that is embedded in AR/VR headsets or mobile devices. Companies like Eonite Perception and Occipital make physical sensors, as well as computer vision software that can be embedded in AR/VR rigs (mobile or headset) to track users’ orientation.

    • Mobile Hardware & Enablement—startups providing head-mounted displays or other technology for mobile AR/VR. Many of these companies, like Merge VR, sell head-mounted displays (HMDs), mobile hardware, or software enablement for AR/VR apps. Wikitude, for example, makes vision software for AR mobile apps.

  • Development

    • Video Processing & Engine—image stitching, processing and game engines for VR. Game engines like Unity have vast application outside of AR/VR in gaming, but are increasingly being applied to VR. Graphics company OTOY helps render digital content and has attracted investments from corporates including HBO, Disney and AutoDesk.

    • Dev Tools—tools that aid the development and computing behind AR/VR applications. Fish Bowl VR provides usability testing, and Sixa, a high-performance cloud computing company, is aiming to make the VR experience wireless (many headsets today require a tether to a high-spec PC rig).

    • Camera & Capture—companies working on light field video or 360‎° capture. Lytro is a well-funded startup developing light field capturing cameras for VR content, and EmergentVR focuses on mobile 360‎° video capture.

  • Applications

    • Game & Content Production—studios producing AR/VR applications and games are big venture bets. CCP Games and Kite & Lightning both saw deals from smart money investors.

    • Content Platforms—platforms and apps where content is delivered (or indexed). Jaunt, Within, and NextVR are well-funded players in the space. (Also, media corporates are quite active here, and we’ve previously detailed where media companies are investing in AR/VR.)

    • Social—platforms for shared user experiences. Sequoia Capital and First Round Capital recently backed social platform Against Gravity. And LiveLike allows users to watch sports together in a virtual living room.

    • Ads—companies dedicated to advertising for the new computing platform. Startups like Vertebrae are working to natively integrate advertising into the VR ecosystem.

    • Education—startups applying AR/VR to education and academia. Nearpod, for example, uses mobile VR for interactive lessons in classrooms.

    • Commercial / Retail—enterprise AR/VR is taking off in real estate, furniture, and retail just to name a few. InContext Solutions, for example, helps imagine retail floor plans using VR. And Matterport facilitates real estate viewings using VR captured walk-throughs.

    • Healthcare—medical training and other medical applications. MindMaze is a well-funded company focused on AR/VR for neuroscience. The company develops HMDs, motion capture, and gesture control technology (for both AR and VR) with the goal of helping rehabilitation after stroke, spinal cord injury, and amputation. Psious uses VR for exposure therapy to overcome phobias.

    • Heavy Industry—headsets and mobile AR specifically tailored for industrial settings and field service. Daqri and Atheer are well-funded headset makers that focus on enterprise and industrial settings. Others like Scope AR do similar work in field service using mobile and tablets, employing AR to highlight parts on industrial equipment while connected to support experts in real-time.

  • Distribution

    • Arcades & Experiences—venture-backed companies like Two Bit Circus are putting AR/VR into consumers’ hands via pop-up arcade installations, while Dreamscape Immersive aims to bring VR to the multiplex. Dreamscape Immersive garnered investment from Hollywood mainstays like MGM, 21st Century Fox, IMAX, and Steven Spielberg. In addition, Comcast, the most active media corporate, made a bet on Spaces, which focuses on VR in theme parks.


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AR/VR Startups

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See the full list of startups below:

Startups Working In AR/VR
Company Select Investors Category
Immersv CAA Ventures, Foundation Capital, Frontier Tech VC, Technicolor Ventures, Vive X Ads
Omnivirt Andreessen Horowitz, General Catalyst, Larry Braitman, Start Fund, SV Angel and Y Combinator Ads
Vertebrae Undisclosed Investors Ads
Dreamscape Immersive 21st Century Fox, Bold Capital Partners, IMAX Corporation, MGM, Steven Spielberg, Warner Bros., Westfield Group Arcade & Experiences
Phantom VR Hejun Capital, Magical World, TipCat Interactive Arcade & Experiences
Spaces Boost VC, Canyon Creek Capital, Colopl, Comcast Ventures,  Sinovation Ventures, The Venture Reality Fund Arcade & Experiences
Zero Latency Carthona Capital, Contango Asset Management, Regal Funds Management, Thorney Investment Group Arcade & Experiences
Two Bit Circus  Foundry Group, Intel Capital Arcade & Experiences
The Void  Shanda Group Arcade & Experiences
Virzoom  iTulip Arcade & Experiences
Virtuix Maveron, Radical Investments, Western Technology Investment Arcade & Experiences
Bubl Technology J-Tech Capital, Kickstarter, Samsung Ventures Camera & Capture
EmergentVR Accel Partners, Frontier Tech VC, Google Ventures Camera & Capture
Lucid VR 17 Miles Technology, Indiegogo, LAB360, S2 Capital, TEEC Angel Fund, Wistron Camera & Capture
Pinscreen Colopl, Lux Capital Camera & Capture
Lytro Andreessen Horowitz, Allen & Company Camera & Capture
Augment Salesforce Ventures Commercial / Retail
IrisVR Azure Capital Partners, Emergence Capital Partners, Pritzker Group Venture Capital, Techstars, Valar Ventures Commercial / Retail
Matterport BoxGroup, Felicis Ventures, Frontier Tech VC, Greylock Partners, Lux Capital, Qualcomm Ventures, Red Swan Ventures, Y Combinator Commercial / Retail
SpaceView Sprint Accelerator Commercial / Retail
Total Immersion Elaia Partners, Intel Capital, iSource Gestion, KDDI Corporation, Partech Ventures Commercial / Retail
VividWorks Finnvera, Vendep Startup Fund Commercial / Retail
Blippar Barclays Bank, Khazanah Nasional Berhad, Lansdowne Partners, Qualcomm Ventures Commercial / Retail
InContext Solutions AMD Ventures, Beringea, Hyde Park Angels, Hyde Park Venture Partners, Intel Capital, Plymouth Ventures Commercial / Retail
Archiact Interactive G-Mei Network Technology Content & Game Production
Baobab Studios 21st Century Fox, Comcast Ventures, Horizons Ventures, HTC, Peter Thiel, Presence Capital, Samsung Ventures Content & Game Production
CCP Games General Catalyst Partners, New Enterprise Associates, Novator Content & Game Production
Felix & Paul Studios Caisse de depot et placement du Quebec, Comcast Ventures, LDV Partners, PHI Group Content & Game Production
First Contact Entertainment Undisclosed Investors Content & Game Production
Kite & Lightning Boost VC, Comcast Ventures, Courtside Ventures, Jason Rosenthal, Outpost Capital, Social Capital, The Raine Group Content & Game Production
Niantic Alsop-Louie Partners, Cyan Banister, Fuji Media Holdings, Google, Lucas Nealan, Nintendo, Pokemon Company International, Scott Banister, You & Mr. Jones Content & Game Production
Owlchemy Labs Capital Factory, Colopl, HTC, Qualcomm Ventures, The Venture Reality Fund, Vive X Content & Game Production
Penrose Studios 8 Angel, Suffolk Equity Partners, Sway Ventures, TransLink Capital Content & Game Production
Reload Studios Barunson E&A, Frontier Tech VC, World Innovation Lab, YK CRCM RS Content & Game Production
Resolution Games Bonnier Growth Media, Creandum, Google Ventures, Initial Capital, Partech Ventures, Presence Capital Content & Game Production
Survios Danhua Capital, Dentsu Ventures, Felicis Ventures, Gen Isayama, Lux Capital, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Michael Chang, Shanda Group, Shasta Ventures Content & Game Production
WEVR Deep Fork Capital, HTC, Joi Ito, Mission Ventures, Palantir Capital, Samsung Ventures Content & Game Production
NeoBear GGV Capital, Haitong Kaiyuan Investment Co., Liuhe Capital, New Horizon Capital, Qualcomm Ventures, Sinolink Securities Co. Game & Content Production
Jaunt Frontier Tech VC, Google Ventures, Redpoint Ventures, Sky, SV Angel, The Walt Disney Company Content Platform
NextVR China Assets Holdings, CITIC Guoan, CMC Holdings, Comcast Ventures, Dick Clark Productions, Formation 8, Formation Group, Founder H Fund, Ironfire Ventures, Madison Square Garden, NetEase Capital, Peter Gruber, Peter Guber, RSE Ventures, SoftBank Group, Spectrum 28, Time Warner Investments, VMS Investment Group Content Platform
Sliver.tv Advancit Capital, Bertelsmann Digital Media Investments, CAA Ventures, DCM Ventures, Green Pine Capital Partners, Greycroft Partners, GVR Fund, Hollywood Media, Sierra Ventures, Sparkland Capital, The Venture Reality Fund Content Platform
Within 21st Century Fox, Andreessen Horowitz, Annapurna Pictures, Freelands Ventures, Legendary Entertainment, Live Nation Entertainment, The Raine Group, Tribeca Enterprises, Vice Media, WME Ventures Content Platform
SpaceVR  Shanda Group Content Platform
SVRF Content Platform
Sketchfab Balderton Capital, Borealis Ventures, David Cohen, FirstMark Capital, Partech Ventures, Techstars, Techstars Ventures Content Platform
GAUDIO LAB Capstone Partners (South Korea), Korea Investment Partners, LB Investment, Softbank Ventures Korea Dev Tools
Sixa  Y Combinator, Horizon Capital Dev Tools
InstaVR  The Venture Reality Fund Dev Tools
Fish Bowl VR ViveX Dev Tools
Woofbert Undisclosed Investors Education
Nearpod  Krillion Ventures, Reach Capital Education
Zspace Artiman Ventures Education
LithodomosVR Undisclosed Investors Education
Unimersiv BoostVC Education
WaveOptics Robert Bosch Venture Capital Headset Makers
Lumus Alibaba Group, Crystal-OpTech, HTC, Jerusalem Global Ventures, Motorola Solutions Venture Capital, Quanta Computer, Shanda Group Headset Makers
Magic Leap Alibaba Group, Andreessen Horowitz, Legendary Entertainment, Obvious Ventures, Qualcomm Ventures, Vulcan Capital, Warner Bros. Entertainment Headset Makers
Meta Alexis Ohanian, Comcast Ventures, Danhua Capital, ENIAC Ventures, Fenox Venture Capital, Horizons Ventures, VTF Capital, Y Combinator Headset Makers
Osterhout Design Group 21st Century Fox, O-film Tech Co., Vanfund Urban Investment and Development Co. Headset Makers
MindMaze Hinduja Group Healthcare
Psious Caixa Capital Risc, DreamIt Ventures, Frontier Tech VC, Rothenberg Ventures River Accelerator Healthcare
STRIVR Labs Advancit Capital, BMW i Ventures, Presence Capital, Signia Venture Partners Healthcare
Surgical Theater HTC, OurCrowd, Shanghai Creation Investment Healthcare
Vicarious Surgical Frontier Tech VC, Rothenberg Ventures River Accelerator Healthcare
Marxent Labs Detroit Venture Partners, Stage 1 Ventures Industrial
Daqri Tarsadia Investments Industrial
Fieldbit Actemium, Axians Industrial
Scope AR IDrive Ventures, New Stack Ventures, Presence Capital, Susa Ventures, Y Combinator Industrial
Human Condition Safety American International Group Industrial
Upskill CNF Investments, GE Ventures, New Enterprise Associates, Salesforce Ventures, SineWave Ventures, Work-Bench Industrial
Ubimax  Atlantic Bridge Capital Industrial
Feo AR PortXL Industrial
Atheer Fang Group, FundersClub, Indiegogo, Lab IX, RONA Holdings, Shanda Group, Signatures Capital, Streamlined Ventures Industrial
AlterGeo Almaz Capital Partners, Intel Capital Mobile Hardware & Enablement
ANTVR Gosuncn Technology Group, Kickstarter, Kunlun Worldwide, Sequoia Capital China Mobile Hardware & Enablement
Baofeng Mojing Aisidi, CITIC Capital Private Equity, Green Pine Capital Partners, Huayi Brothers, Tian Yin Music Mobile Hardware & Enablement
Merge VR 645 Ventures, Cowtown Angels, Frontier Tech VC, Geekdom Fund, New Ground Ventures Mobile Hardware & Enablement
Metaverse Loic LeMeur, Michael Eisner, Mike Jones Mobile Hardware & Enablement
Wikitude Gamma Capital Partners, Konica Minolta, Tecnet Equity Mobile Hardware & Enablement
Wonder 8VC, David Stern Mobile Hardware & Enablement
Remoria VR Invitalia Ventures, LVenture GroupMobile Hardware & Enablement  Mobile Hardware & Enablement
VR Case O-film Tech Co, Cowin Capital, China Growth Capital Mobile Hardware & Enablement
Banuba Larnabel Enterprises and VP Capital Mobile Hardware & Enablement
Zappar Hargreave Hale Mobile Hardware & Enablement
Actronika Agoranov, Seventure Partners Position, Eye & Gesture Tracking
Eonite Perception Lightspeed Venture Partners, Presence Capital, Signia Venture Partners Position, Eye & Gesture Tracking
Fove 2020 Ventures, Colopl, Kickstarter, Rothenberg Ventures River Accelerator, Samsung Ventures Position, Eye & Gesture Tracking
Intersense Anchor Capital Advisors, Chase H&Q, Claflin Capital, Dominion Ventures, Furneaux & Company, Kodiak Venture Partners, Parthenon Capital Partners, U.S. Department of Defense, Vitec Group plc, Zero Stage Capital Position, Eye & Gesture Tracking
Leap Motion Andreessen Horowitz, Bill Warner, Brian McClendon, Founders Fund, Highland Capital Partners, Max Woon, PROfounders Capital, SOSventures Position, Eye & Gesture Tracking
Nod Labs Atlantic Bridge Capital, Menlo Ventures, Nautilus Venture Partners, Point Guard Ventures, Sequoia Capital, Walden Riverwood Ventures, Walden Venture Capital Position, Eye & Gesture Tracking
Occipital eBay, Foundry Group, Grishin Robotics, Intel Capital, K9 Ventures, Kickstarter, Shea Ventures, Techstars Position, Eye & Gesture Trackingg
uSens Chalor Capital, Chord Capital, ChuanCheng Fund, Fortune Venture Capital, Fosun Kinzon Capital, Fulcrum Capital Partners, Great Capital, IDG Ventures USA, iResearch Capital, Lebox Capital, Maison Capital, Morningside Ventures, Oriental Fortune Capital, Stone Capital Position, Eye & Gesture Tracking
WorldViz Intel Capital Position, Eye & Gesture Tracking
AltspaceVR Promus Ventures, Startcaps Ventures, Streamlined Ventures, SV Angel Social
Against Gravity Sequoia Capital, First Round Capital Social
JanusVR BoostVC Social
Fringefy Super Ventures, Presence Capital Social
LiveLike Courtside Ventures, David Stern, Dentsu Ventures, Elysian Park Ventures, Evolution Media Partners, Techstars, Techstars Ventures Social
VRChat Brightstone Venture Capital, Frontier Tech VC, GREE International, GVR Fund, HTC Social
8i Advancit Capital, Andrew Hendricks, Bertelsmann Digital Media Investments, Boost VC, Horizons Ventures, Inevitable Ventures, Jeremy Stoppelman, John Hendricks, Kevin Wall, RRE Ventures, Samsung Ventures Video Processing / Engine
GIROPTIC 360 Capital Partners, Aloe Blacc, C4 Ventures, Finorpa, HAX, Kickstarter, Oleg Tscheltzoff, Partech Ventures, SOSventures Video Processing / Engine
High Fidelity Google Ventures, Kapor Capital, Linden Lab, True Ventures, Vulcan Capital Video Processing / Engine
Improbable Amadeus Capital Partners, Andreessen Horowitz, LocalGlobe Video Processing / Engine
Infinity AR Alibaba Group, Management Buyout (MBO), Public, SUNCORPORATION Video Processing / Engine
Kudan Undisclosed Angel Investors Video Processing / Engine
OTOY Autodesk, Discovery Communications, Disney Accelerator, George Gilder, Home Box Office, John Mack, Liberty Media, Taylor Frigon, Yuri Milner Video Processing / Engine
Pixvana Madrona Venture Group, Mike Galgon, S. Somasegar, Vulcan Capital Video Processing / Engine
The Future Group Aker Holding, Ferd Capital, Ross Video Video Processing / Engine
VideoStitch Alven Capital, Daniel Marhely, Errol Ginsberg, Kima Ventures, Laurent Asscher Video Processing / Engine
Visbit Amino Capital, Colopl VR Fund | Colopl Next, Eversunny Limited, Presence Capital, ZhenFund Video Processing / Engine
Unity  DFJ Growth Video Processing / Engine

 

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