Funding may be becoming a bit harder to come by for some startups in the current climate, but generally as long as a company has the right idea someone will always be there with a checkbook in hand. A studio building a virtual reality baby brawler seems to have fit that bill.
Kite & Lightning announced today that they have raised $2.5 million in seed funding to support development of a new VR title called Bebylon Battle Royale: A Gentleman’s Game. The experience, which the studio refers to as “Smash Bros-esque,” involves lots of babies fighting each other.
“[W]e always envisioned a world that you could immerse yourself in,” the company detailed in a blog post. “We want to create this amazing comedic world where you can craft your own personal character, cheer/boo/support your friends as a live audience member in the gladiatorial stages, or explore the world of Bebylon, from the shows it has to offer to the characters that inhabit it.”
The studio has been flirting with both interactive video and gaming content. They’ve produced popular experiences like their Senza Peso Italian mini-opera in addition to working on #branded content for NBC’s The Voice among other projects.
Raine Ventures, who led this round, isn’t a stranger to the VR content space; they’ve seeded companies like AltspaceVR and Chris Milk’s VRSE (now Within). Incidentally the VC firm’s parent company, The Raine Group, has also advised VR content capture companies Jaunt and Lytro. Lytro CEO Jason Rosenthal also participated in the round alongside Courtside Ventures, Comcast Ventures Catalyst Fund, Social Capital, Outpost Capital, Boost VC
Kite & Lightning is really just two full-time people building cool stuff, but they already have some big expansion plans. The company detailed in a blog post that they’ll be hiring two more people, which math suggests will result in a doubling of employees, but they’re also currently hiring people to fill out their cool beach-front LA office so if you’re passionate about beating up babies virtually seek professional help then drop them a line.
In all seriousness, Kite & Lightning seems to have some major creative juices flowing and the artistic style of their new title looks promising, though we’ll have to keep waiting to see what gameplay looks like.