EEVO, a startup powering VR apps for the BBC and others, raises $1.3M

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EEVO‘s goal, in the words of co-founder and CEO Alejandro Dinsmore, is “democratizing the creation and delivery of immersive experiences.”

In other words, the Brooklyn startup aims to help publishers and other content creators build virtual reality experiences for smartphones without making a big investment. In fact, to use EEVO’s “Composer,” they only need 360-degree video and other media assets — no programming required.

EEVO first raised $1 million in angel funding in 2015. Since then, it participated in Techstars NYC and recently closed another $1.3 million in funding from Eagle Advisors, FundersClub, 37 Angels and others.

It also provided the technology behind the new Taster smartphone app from the BBC, which offers virtual reality experiences tied to BBC shows like Planet Earth II.

“The technology EEVO supply for our BBC Taster VR app for iPhone and Android makes creating interactive 360 video a lot easier than it has been before,” said BBC Senior Product Manager David Johnston in a statement. “The Composer window is simple enough that a content producer can use it but has enough complexity that we can try exciting new formats for the medium.”

Dinsmore said that publishers like the BBC are less focused on attracting a huge audience for their VR initiatives, and more on seeing how people respond as they experiment. And when that’s the goal, it makes less sense to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on a single project — instead, publishers need to find tools that allow them to create VR content quickly and consistently.

“One of the interesting shifts that we see in the ecosystem is the alignment between expectations and reality is much closer,” Dinsmore said.  “People are looking to build an internal capability around creating compelling experiences in VR and AR, rather than trying to get 1 million downloads of a VR app.”