French startup Giroptic just raised $4.5 million for a new kind of action camera. Giroptic looks like a GoPro, but if you look closely, you can notice three different cameras. The egg-shaped 360cam captures everything around you, making it the perfect camera for virtual reality headsets.
Many companies are focusing on making headsets, but creating virtual reality content is an important piece of the VR puzzle as well. Some companies, like CCP Games, are making video games for these headsets. And others, like VideoStitch, are creating software tools to produce 360 videos in real time or in post-production.
Giroptic is an interesting player as the company is producing its own camera as well as an in-house stitching solution. As a reminder, Giroptic also grabbed $1.4 million in a Kickstarter campaign. Kickstarter backers will receive their cameras in December and January.
You can pre-order a camera for $499 on the company’s website. It looks like Giroptic is following GoPro’s playbook by releasing an expensive camera to everyone who is interested. And this is key — the 360cam isn’t just for professionals. It’s for everyone who wants to play with virtual reality video.
Eventually, if virtual reality video becomes mainstream, Giroptic will be well positioned to sell a camera to millions of potential customers.
Compared to other similar cameras, Giroptic stitches the video in real time on the camera. The team has spent years working on 360 imagery for real estate and forensic use cases. The GoPro prosumer angle is pretty recent in comparison.
Partech Ventures, 360 Capital Partners, SOSV, Finorpa, and business angels such as Oleg Tscheltzoff, Pascal Cagni and Aloe Blacc participated in today’s round. The company now plans to sell its camera in store in order to be ready when the first virtual reality headsets also arrive in your favorite electronics store.