HTC, the developer of virtual reality headset Vive, has brought together 28 leading VC firms to establish a consortium that pools a mammoth $10 billion deployable capital for the development and future of virtual reality. HTC announced the establishment of the Virtual Reality Venture Capital Alliance at the GSMA Mobile World Congress in Shanghai this week.
Speaking at MWC, Alvin Graylin, president of HTC China, said the Alliance will “invest in the future of VR and set the direction of where VR is going.” He predicted that China will become the global centre for virtual reality development in the long term.
This substantial financial injection is a huge boost for the nascent VR industry, which is predicted by some to be the next disruptor after the PC and the mobile phone. PC sales have been slowing down for some years now and global smartphone sales fell for the first time in April this year.
In April this year, HTC established the Vive X, a $100-million global accelerator program aimed at startups working on virtual reality solutions. According to Graylin the accelerator program has attracted a lot of attention, receiving 1,200 applications from companies around the world, half of them from China.
In another initiative to boost virtual reality uptake by consumers, HTC plans to establish 10,000 experience sites at Internet cafes and Karaoke bars across China by the end of 2016. In addition, the company has been working hard on content for the Vive headset, a crucial precondition for successful consumer uptake of virtual reality. Graylin announced that HTC has released more than 300 titles for the Vive.