It’s 2016 and the physical world is slowly being uploaded to the cloud. Matterport, a company creating tools to allow 3D spaces to be scanned into virtual reality, is grabbing some more cash and some more strategic partners as it seeks to continue expanding its laser mapping technology.
Matterport has raised $56 million to date, including a $30 million Series C in June of last year led by Qualcomm Ventures. Previous investors also include Greylock Partners, DCM Ventures, Felicis Ventures, Lux Capital and Rothenberg Ventures. The company didn’t specify the specific dollar amount raised in this new bout of funding and instead chose to frame it as a chance to bring a new swath of investors into the mix.
“Our main interest is in the strategic value that the investors bring,” Matterport co-founder and Chief Strategic Officer Matt Bell told me. “We certainly have plenty of cash so it’s more about getting expertise in this range of new markets that we’re going after.”
Those new investors include CBRE Group, News Corp, Luminari Capital and Sound Ventures. Matterport is looking for these new partners to aid the company as it begins expanding further into the non-US regions and commercial real estate vertical where it sees much of its future growth coming from.
“We look to invest in companies that are disruptive in their industries and have developed technological barriers to entry, and believe that Matterport can have a significant impact on industries such as travel and hospitality, entertainment and beyond,” said Ashton Kutcher, Co-Founder of Sound Ventures, in a statement.
The new investors, particularly CBRE Group, give Matterport access to greater resources and connections within the commercial real estate sector.
One of the main external-facing metrics for success that the company is sharing are “visits” or views of the scanned 3D models. In August of 2015, Matterport had seen 10 million visits to its properties. Fast forward a year and that number has increased dramatically, the company just announced that it has surpassed 60 million visits to the nearly 270 thousand structures that have been scanned using Matterport’s tech.
The company’s revenues are comprised of both the sales of its $4,500 Matterport Pro 3D Camera and the monthly subscription fees, ranging from $49 to $149 per month which allow users to host their scanned models on the site. The camera is an interesting beast, using a technology called Lidar to blast lasers across a space and capture a full visual scan of the area from that perspective.
From there the scans are viewable through a virtual reality headset or a web viewer like the one below.
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The models are viewable using a Gear VR headset of a Google Cardboard viewer. Though the company isn’t necessarily VR-first from a headset perspective, given the success of their online 3D viewer, Matterport still sees virtual reality as a key boon to their product.
“We still believe we’re in the very early stages [of VR adoption]. If you look at the install base, it isn’t at the point where people are going to actually be able to experience the media through a headset,” Matterport CEO Bill Brown told me.