Groundbreaking VR content company Within raised $40 million in funding to help it “push the medium of virtual and augmented reality even further,” according to a press release.
Co-founder and CEO Chris Milk is one of the people responsible for popularizing the idea that VR can create “the ultimate empathy machine,” and the company’s content has been at the forefront of the medium as it evolved over the last few years. Originally known as Vrse, Within raised $56.6 million to date and will “work to develop the technology and software necessary to bring immersive experiences to the masses” while helping it “source engineering talent to create more engaging shared experiences for both entertainment and social impact.”
The Series B round was co-led by Temasek and Emerson Collective with new investors including WPP and MACRO Ventures. Existing investors Andreessen Horowitz, 21st Century Fox and Raine Ventures participated in the round.
“With the new wave of growth surrounding emerging formats like AR, there’s a tremendous amount of momentum in the industry right now,” said Milk, in a prepared statement. “However, the biggest challenge that the industry is facing is the lack of access to compelling experiences for consumers. With incredible investment partners, we now have the opportunity to tackle this issue and accelerate getting technically complex, but emotionally powerful, immersive experiences to the public at large.”
Within builds its own virtual worlds and also curates some from other creators, with apps available on both iPhone or Android. The startup has a partnership with IMAX to deliver virtual worlds to its arcades and recently built Life of Us that depicts evolution on Earth as well as Hallelujah, a musical world set to Leonard Cohen’s song.