Tue, 27 September 2022 at 7:00 am·3-min read
AmazeVR, a Los Angeles-based virtual concert platform, said Tuesday it has raised a $17 million funding round to create immersive music experiences through virtual reality (VR) concerts.
Like other industries, the entertainment sector was affected by the coronavirus lockdown. Many music artists had to cancel or push back their live events during the pandemic. Some artists and music agencies have shifted to virtual or online concerts to compensate for those canceled events. AmazeVR is betting that virtual shows, which have become popular among artists and fans since the pandemic, are going to take over the entertainment industry.
Mirae Asset Capital led the Series B round along with returning backers, including another Mirae Asset Financial Group subsidiary (Mirae Asset Venture Investment), CJ Investment, Smilegate Investment, GS Futures and LG Technology Ventures. New strategic investors -- Korean entertainment giant CJ ENM and mobile game maker Krafton -- participated in the latest round.
"The virtual reality entertainment industry is growing rapidly, and we believe that music and gaming are two of the most promising sectors for future development," said a spokesperson at CJ ENM.
AmazeVR co-CEO Steve Lee said that his startup plans to use the financing to expand partnerships with artists and their management agencies, labels and publishers. He added that it is currently in talks with potential partners to work with top artists in the U.S.
The startup is preparing virtual concerts and a music metaverse service that would be available across all major VR app stores and work with next-generation headsets such as the Meta Quest Pro and Apple's own rumored VR headset, Lee continued.
The Series B funding round comes in the wake of the startup's joint venture announcement with K-pop agency SM Entertainment in July. Both companies plan to launch Studio A in South Korea and produce immersive VR concerts.
"We're also preparing to produce virtual concerts with SM Entertainment artists and expand to other K-pop companies in South Korea," Lee said. "We plan to hire more artificial intelligence engineers, [Epic Game's] Unreal Engine engineers, and visual effects (VFX) artists" to continue the advancement of its technology and the development of premier virtual concerts.