Investing in VR: An Entrepreneur’s Perspective



As the co-founder of a virtual reality (VR) startup that has gone through two accelerators and is starting to raise a seed round, I thought it would be helpful to share some of what I have learned since starting Virt.

It is still early

Despite all of the media attention and blockbuster investments, we are still in the very early days of VR. We do not know what the consumer base will look like initially, how long it will take to grow, and even what the most popular use cases will be. It is too early to tell if anyone has “cracked the code” and figured out the killer VR application.
Investors are wary
Even though most major tech companies have decided that VR is the future, investors have not yet been fully convinced. There are probably less than 1,000 VR investors worldwide (not counting crowdfunding donations). Most of these investors are only making 1-or-2 bets at time in VR, so it is a relatively small pond you are fishing in.
Team, Market, Technology
Like in most other technology investment situations, investors like to see a great team with the right background, working on a problem that affects a big market, with defensible technology. VR investors are not focused on your current revenue, but they want to know that you have a good plan for it.
Short-term surviving, long-term thriving
Following on the previous point, investors want to know how you plan to survive the adoption period for VR. If VR takes 3-to-5 years to reach mass consumer adoption, will you still be around to capitalize on it? Most VR investors are looking at a 7-10 year time period for getting a return on their capital, so they are taking a long-term approach to VR.
VR is an incredibly exciting technology and field to work in, but it is also very challenging. There are a lot of external factors as a VR entrepreneur, so it is important to focus on what you can control and just keep pushing.
If you are an investor looking at VR, I would love for you to tune into our webcast next week with Virtuix and VirZOOM.

If you are an entrepreneur looking to get into VR and want someone to bounce ideas off of or brainstorm with, feel free to reach out to me at phil@virt.mobi, or on Twitter.



Reprinted by permission.
Image credit: CC by Knight_Center_for_Journalism_in_the_Americas

About the author: Phil Johnston

Phil Johnston is the Cofounder of Virt – a startup bringing reality into virtual reality with robots. Currently in tests with private beta-customers, Virt will be launching it’s public beta later this year. Phil’s been working in VR for the past two years and is constantly thinking about the future of VR and robotics.

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