The designer of the world’s first interactive 360 degree chair, Roto VR, has today raised £1.5 million. Pembroke Investment Managers LLC is the lead investor. The TVB Growth Fund, managed by The FSE Group also invested in the round. SP Angel Corporate Finance LLP acted as financial advisor to Roto VR on the fund raising. The advanced technology cleverly overcomes the stumbling blocks typically encountered when bringing virtual reality (VR to a mass audience.
Founded in 2015, by video games industry veterans, Elliott Myers and Gavin Waxkirsh, Roto VR solves many of the current problems associated with using VR.
Roto is a highly advanced interactive chair that addresses the physical problems of consuming VR whilst seated, such as motion sickness and tangling cables, whilst also massively enhancing the immersive experience with haptic feedback (vibration effects).
Roto is also motorised and can auto-rotate to wherever the user is looking, allowing for effortless 360 viewing and exploration, thus users can experience the full panorama in comfort and for longer periods of time. Roto’s inbuilt desktop supports input devices such as a keyboard and mouse which opens the door to productive 360-degree desktop computing.
“Most people sit down to watch movies, work, play games and browse the internet whilst seated and we see no reason why the exciting new medium of VR will be any different”. Elliott Myers
The innovative product is compatible with most VR Head Mounted Displays (HMDs) and is also compatible with all movies and games, as well as a host of additional accessories such as racing wheels and joysticks.
The company is due to launch the consumer and office version of Roto imminently which provides a low-cost platform to ‘buy-in’ to the VR and Augmented Reality (AR) landscape. In addition, the team has identified a number of market opportunities across a select range of industries in the out of home sectors, such as cinemas and arcades, and has begun developing a range of products to accommodate them.
The global augmented reality and virtual reality market is expected to reach $94.4bn in value by 2023 according P&S Market Research.
Andrew Wolfson, CEO Pembroke Investment Managers LLC, explains why they invested: “In Elliott we have found an entrepreneur who has solved a problem for the VR market with a solution that addresses the physical issues encountered whilst consuming VR content, as well as significantly enhancing the experience. We see future customers coming from both the B2B and B2C markets, in fields such as experiential attractions, home, cinemas and shopping centres. The company has employed a high calibre of people, and we believe that the business is well placed to take advantage of this fast-growing market.”
Kiko Duffy, Senior Fund Manager at The FSE Group, who manage the Thames Valley Berkshire Growth Fund on behalf of the Thames Valley Berkshire Local Enterprise Partnership, commented, “We are delighted to be backing Elliott and his team. The company’s products are a key part of bringing VR into the home and workplace and are a great example of British innovation with global potential”.
TVB Growth Fund is part of Thames Valley Berkshire Funding Escalator, an £11.3m initiative funded by Thames Valley Berkshire LEP to support job creation and economic prosperity in Berkshire. The escalator, which also includes four separate loan schemes, provides eligible companies – from start-up to established – with loans and equity funding between £50,000 and £300,000 for activities that will deliver high-growth and employment opportunities.