While there is much ink spilled over the hunt for VR’s “killer app,” over the past year a number of social apps have emerged out of the VR community that seek to highlight the unparalleled opportunities for collaboration offered by VR.
One of the first to balance the potential for fun and productivity is Bigscreen. The company, which has achieved sizable popularity amongst early VR users, has built a product around experiencing web content with others in a shared environment.
The startup announced today that it has raised $3 million in funding led by Andreessen Horowitz. Other investors in this round include True Ventures, Presence Capital, Ludlow Ventures, David Bettner and SV Angel.
Andreessen Horowitz has only made a few non-hardware investments in the AR/VR space. Their investment in OculusVR was followed by one of the first major exits for a VR company when Facebook (another investment of theirs) purchased the company for $2 billion in early 2014.
In a world where most VR applications are itching to embrace a future defined by three-dimensional interfaces, Bigscreen is aiming to create a closer bond between the host of content available on the 2D web and the sophistication of social experiences already being made available for users donning virtual reality headsets.
The beta application, which has use cases that extend from collaborating in virtual meeting rooms to playing online games in the same room as your online friends’ avatars, has grown successful by quickly embracing new tech in the VR space. The app currently boasts 150,000 users, an impressive number for the high-end VR community it exists within.
“By focusing on multiple platforms and providing super simple ways of sharing experiences with others, Bigscreen is great at bringing communities of strangers together around shared interests,” Amitt Mahajan, Managing Partner at Presence Capital, said in a Medium post.
Moving forward, the company is looking to issue a 1.0 release of Bigscreen, while also seeking to bring native apps to the platform and add support for mobile VR headsets.