Vive X Report Highlights Continued Strength of Investments in UK XR Tech


Today, HTC Vive in collaboration with Immerse UK have released the UK Immersive Tech: VC Investment Report, providing a deep-dive into 31 XR startups who have managed to raise significant amounts of investment. The report not only looks at how some of these companies achieved their success in a difficult market but also highlights investor interest in enterprise-focused technology.

Bodyswaps Job Interview

Investment in the XR industry has ebbed and flowed over the years with significant interest in and around 2016, whilst a couple of years later it declined due to the initial hype wearing off. Yet initiatives like HTC Vive’s Vive X programme has continued throughout, supporting over 100 companies in the process. In this first report, Vive X and Immerse UK have produced looking at the UK’s immersive sector and how despite the pandemic have managed to thrive.

“Firstly, despite its drawbacks for the overall economy, the immersive sector has been well placed to benefit from the global pandemic. Lockdowns all over the world have led to consumers looking to virtual worlds to spend more of their leisure time and connect with others,” says Dave Haynes, Director of Development Ecosystem & Vive X EMEA in the report. “Whilst, workers and their employers have thrown out old ways of working, turning to technologies such as VR to collaborate, design together or host and attend virtual events.”

Regular readers of VRFocus will notice some very familiar names among those listed, each involved in very different segments of the industry. Anything World, for example, enables creators to bring 3D models to life simply using their voice, whilst Bodyswaps focuses on soft skills training, its most recent module is a job interview simulator.

  • Anything World – Total financing £600K
  • Bodyswaps – Total financing £549K
  • FitXR – Total financing £6.91m
  • FundamentalVR – Total financing £7.6m
  • Gravity Sketch – Total financing £4.25m
  • Loveshark – Total financing undisclosed
  • Maze Theory – Total financing £1.85m
  • Poplar – Total financing £2.75m
  • Ultraleap – Total financing £63m
  • VividQ – Total financing £6.5m

Immerse UK’s 21 XR Startups to watch

  • Beem
  • Darabase
  • Dubbl
  • Edify
  • Evidential Reality
  • Factory 42
  • Generic Robotics
  • GiveVision
  • Holoxica
  • Igloo Vision
  • KageNova
  • KIT-AR
  • Masters of Pie
  • Rescape Innovation
  • RETiniZE
  • Tiny Rebel Games
  • Virti
  • XR Games
  • XYZ Reality
Gravity Sketch

The report also conducted a survey of 50 UK-based investors who had a positive outlook for the next 12 months. Out of those surveyed, 63% think overall investment will increase with a notable lean towards enterprise VR/AR.

As UK-based XR companies continue to make strides in the industry, VRFocus will keep you updated.

3D for the Enterprise: The Inherent Effectiveness of XR

VRFocus Creators

A lot of thought gets put into how businesses might enable employees to achieve peak performance. A key aspect that often gets overlooked is the basic medium of our tools and interactions. Going back to first principles, it’s important to take into account that humans are fundamentally driven to operate in a three-dimensional world. The way we experience, interact, and create is just more natural and intuitive in 3D.


Yet in the era of computing, much of our working life occurs in 2D, changing our daily workflow into a constant shift between 2D and 3D. We’ve become accustomed to staring at flat screens for everything from data to presentations to videoconference calls, but it’s not always the most impactful means. 2D computing is a distinct compromise and we’ve resigned ourselves to settle for it.

We now have the opportunity to return to a more natural and intuitive way to work – through virtual reality, mixed reality and augmented reality (cumulatively “XR”). The rise of XR technologies is rooted in its fundamental usefulness and efficiency to train, teach, design, collaborate, share, and more.

Like nearly every emerging technology, XR takes time for advancement and adoption, but we are now entering an inflection point for growth. In particular, the enterprise segment of XR hardware and software has traction and is forecasted to grow to over $60 billion by 2023, according to IDC and ARtillery Intelligence. Moreover, COVID-19 is clearly having a substantial impact on the mindset and tools for working collaboratively, acting as an accelerant for these technologies.

View from an Investor

Through VIVE X, the accelerator arm of HTC Vive, we have a unique lens into the market. We started our early-stage investment business four years ago, focused on companies within the realm of XR, as well as the related areas of AI and 5G. Today we are the most active investor in XR, with more than 100 deals in 6 global locations. To date, the value of our investments has nearly doubled.

Vive Ecosystem Conference

We’re seeing that many companies advancing enterprise XR today are focused on horizontal applications that most greatly benefit from a 3D environment: training, design, collaboration, events, analytics, and visualization are examples. The vertical industries that these apply to are endless, including architecture, automotive and transportation, healthcare, oil and gas, and technology. Today they are largely individual applications, and in the future you’ll see more integrated offerings and comprehensive platforms.

The ROI for companies utilizing XR technology is compelling. In many use cases, we’ve seen 5-to-10X reduction in training costs per employee, 30%+ increases in employee satisfaction with training, 25-80% efficiency improvements in various areas of operations, and up to 14X time-to-market improvements in complex use cases.

While these horizontals are proving to be the first to broadly take hold in enterprise, we are already seeing new applications starting to take hold in high value verticals like healthcare and industrial uses. The value is just too great for it not to – from efficiency and effectiveness, to engagement and ROI. The fundamentals of XR offer an important tool for growth and competitive advantage for those who see the inevitable path forward.

HTC’s Vive X Incubator Backs 7 New Startups, Focuses On Enterprise XR

Back in 2016, HTC created a $100 million fund for VR startups called Vive X, hoping to grow both applications and use cases for its then-new Vive VR headset. HTC hasn’t shied away from investments, unveiling 20 startups that December, growing the number to 80 in 2017, and more recently refocusing on enterprise opportunities. This week, HTC says it has nearly doubled the value of its investment to date, thanks to outside funding raises by its backed startups, and it boasts over 100 deals spread across six global locations. HTC has also quietly added seven companies to the Vive X fold, focusing substantially but not exclusively on enterprise XR solutions.

Enterprises have been a particularly bright spot for HTC, which has also chased consumer applications and games for its growing lineup of high-end VR headsets. The company expects to see a 39% compound annual growth rate for the enterprise VR segment through 2023, leading to a $4.26 billion market, and is aggressively investing in business-targeted VR and AR companies.

The seven new Vive X companies are:

  • 3Data, creator of a 3D visualization tool that allows IT/cybersecurity teams to see a panoramic WebXR-based display of IoT sensor data, alerts, logs, and other data streams as if they’re sitting at a computer command center.
  • BodySwaps, maker of VR soft skills educational tools that can help enterprises and educational organizations create lasting behavioral change in interpersonal interactions.
  • Imaged Reality, developer of 3DGAIA, a tool that lets users in the oil industry virtually examine and manipulate drone-gathered 3D terrain data, “bringing the field to the office.”
  • Maze Theory, designer of immersive VR experiences including Doctor Who: The Edge of TimePeaky Blinders, and Project Engram.
  • ORamaVR, responsible for health care education VR simulations that can be targeted to specific operations, such as hip, knee, and dental procedures, as well as broader training on topics like emergency trauma and basic clinical skills.
  • Talespin, maker of the Runway platform behind soft skills training and other XR-based learning applications, plus field tools to support employee job performance.
  • Vantage Point, creator of enterprise employee training systems on topics including workplace anti-sexual harassment policies, diversity, equity, and inclusion.

One of HTC’s prior startups, VR CAD collaboration company Mindesk, was acquired by Australia-based software company Vection, and HTC notes that 17 Vive X companies have collectively raised over $60 million over the past year. That notably includes health care imaging company Proprio and the aforementioned Talespin, which attracted international attention (and $15 million) after spotlighting its employee layoff training simulation.

Though the latest group of Vive X accelerator startups is largely enterprise-focused, HTC is continuing to back companies with unique technology ideas for VR, AR, AI, and 5G, as well as advanced user experience development. On the hardware side, HTC plans to win over PC and smartphone users with a mix of Vive Cosmos VR headsets and Vive Proton XR glasses as it moves past its earliest designs.

This post by Jeremey Horwitz originally appeared on Venturebeat.

The post HTC’s Vive X Incubator Backs 7 New Startups, Focuses On Enterprise XR appeared first on UploadVR.

Vive X Doubles Value of Investments, Adds 7 new Startups to Portfolio

VIVE Pro Eye

The HTC Vive X investment program has helped numerous XR companies around the world develop and bring their projects to market over the past few years. This week Vive X announced that the value of its investments has nearly double as well as revealing seven new investments.

Mindesk ViveX

Since its launch in 2016 Vive X facilitated more than 100 deals across its six locations around the world. 17 of those companies in its portfolio have received additional outside funding in the last year, amounting to over $60 million of investment.

Real-time VR CAD collaboration platform Mindesk is one of those companies, recently acquired by Vection Technologies Ltd; an Australian multinational software company.

One area that Vive X has focused on is enterprise software to improve training, collaboration in the workplace and other use cases. “We work closely with our portfolio companies to help them operationally, and we see them not only weathering the economic storm but thriving,” said Marc Metis, Vice President, HTC Vive in a statement. “We will continue to invest aggressively, especially in the area of enterprise XR, where we are able to add considerable value as a leading player with deep market experience.”


As for the seven most recent companies Vive X has invested in, they are:

  • 3Data – “3Data is 3D platform for IT & Cybersecurity Operations. Through the power of WebXR, Artificial Intelligence, and IoT, 3Data fuses multiple real-time data streams and intelligently cross-correlates alerts, logs, and raw sensor data into a Virtual Operations Center allowing remote IT teams to more efficiently detect and respond to threats, reduce downtime and mitigate risk all in a single, collaborative 3D space.”
  • BodySwaps – “BodySwaps is a complete soft skills training solution for corporate and education organizations that combines behavioural science, data and immersive VR simulations to create deep and lasting behavioural change.”
  • Imaged Reality – “Imaged Reality developed 3DGAIA, the first Enterprise VR platform for the Oil Industry that helps to reduce risk and uncertainty by bringing the field to the office. It enables immersive learning and remote collaboration connecting expertise across the globe.”
  • Maze Theory – “Creating narrative experiences centred on active participation, Maze Theory is the developer behind immersive VR experiences like Doctor Who: The Edge of Time and Peaky Blinders, The King’s Ransom.”
  • ORamaVR – “ORamaVR has built the world’s most intelligent VR training simulations for healthcare education and assessment. By applying principles of neuroscience, spatial computing and machine learning, ORamaVR is focused on the rapid acceleration of human learning in medicine.  An award-winning, evidence-based, deep tech start-up, ORamaVR has developed a proprietary software development kit for high-speed, scalable prototyping.”
  • Talespin – “Talespin is building the spatial computing platform to power talent development and skills alignment for the future of work. Founded in 2015, the company leverages its proprietary XR technology platform Runway to deliver XR-based learning and training applications, mixed reality field tools to support employee job performance, and to advance the collection and alignment of skills data.”
  • VantagePoint – “Vantage Point was founded under the belief that while technology can cause apathy, immersive technology can drive empathy and fundamentally make the world more human. Today Vantage Point is actively developing the platform and the products to train people on EQ-driven Soft Skills that matter, with the ultimate goal of enabling humans to unlock their full potential. Vantage Point tackles enterprise training around important topics such as Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, and Workplace Anti-Sexual Harassment training.”

As Vive X continues to support early-stage VR/AR startups, VRFocus will keep you updated.

Soft Skills Training Specialist Bodyswaps Joins HTC’s Vive X as Platform Goes Live


Everyone at some point in their working lives will probably come across a manager or fellow employee who grates on them, whether that’s through poor communication, listening or other behaviours. Bodyswaps is a virtual reality (VR) platform which specialises in these soft skills, announcing the launch as well as joining HTC’s global XR accelerator program, Vive X.


Bodyswaps is a training solution for enterprise and educational organisations looking to supply employees with new tools when it comes to interacting with others, boosting confidence to create a positive behavioural change.

The launch of the platform this week comes with three modules, Active Listening, Clear Communication and Challenging Non-inclusive Behavior. The team has three more planned for 2020, Job Interview Skills, Emotional Intelligence and Unconscious Bias Awareness.

Using active reflection to encourage behavioural change, Bodyswaps worked with behavioural scientists and learning designers to create its solution, where learners can act with their own voice and swap perspectives to watch themselves back. The platform supports all major standalone VR headsets to aid remote learning.


A UK tech startup, Bodyswaps was conceived during Digital Catapult’s immersive tech accelerator, Augmentor, by co-founders Julien Denoel and Christophe Mallet. Its growth will now be supported with additional funding and business support by Vive X.

“With Vive X’s support and investment, we plan to make our solution accessible on more platforms, expand our library of soft skills simulations and develop our analytics solutions to provide clients with behavioural data at scale,” says Mallet in a statement.

“We are pleased to announce Bodyswaps as one of the latest startups in Europe to receive the backing of Vive X. We have had a focus on Enterprise VR with our latest group of investments and believe soft-skills training is an area with particularly high growth potential. Bodyswaps stood out because of its innovative and scalable approach to VR learning that cuts across many different industries,” adds Dave Haynes, Director of Vive X & Developer Ecosystem, HTC Vive.

For those interested in giving Bodyswaps a try you can book a demo and download a trial version on the official website. For further updates on the platform, keep reading VRFocus.

Vive X Company Immersive Factory Raises £850k Towards VR-based HSE Training

Companies across the world are discovering the benefit of implementing virtual reality (VR) training as a way of safely teaching employees new skills. Immersive Factory is a specialist in VR-based training exercises for occupational health, safety and environment (HSE) and was part of HTC’s Vive X accelerator in London, UK. Today, the company has announced that  £850k has been raised towards further programme development.

Immersive Factory

The investment was thanks to WaterStart Capital, helping to scale up Immersive Factory’s customer support on a worldwide level as well as renew training methods on occupational health and safety. Customers currently include Shell, Colas, Siemens, Moët Hennessy, Suez, Volvo, P&G, Engie, Airbus, EDF, Veolia and Saint Gobain, and Immersive Factory has set up an international retailer network of 40+ partners to aid them.

Currently employing almost 30 people between its administrative and sales headquarters in Paris and its R&D centre in Albi, Immersive Factory has created a range of VR training exercises aimed at reducing the rate of accidents at work and improving behaviour. VRFocus saw this first-hand last year at an HTC Vive event where Immersive Factory demoed a cherry picker simulation on a Vive Focus Plus and what can happen when you don’t attach the safety harness.

“Virtual reality allows us to reproduce workplace situations with life-like accuracy. It represents a real asset for improving our customers’ occupational health and safety training. Courses are tailored to both new employees and people who left high school many years ago. The fun approach with our courses can rekindle everyone’s interest in learning, increase their ability to absorb new information and break down any cultural barriers. Virtual reality is a leading-edge technology that can be used to achieve these ambitious teaching goals,” said Olivier Pierre, CEO of Immersive Factory in a statement.

Immersive Factory

“Since Immersive Factory was founded, we have endeavoured to mainstream and simplify access to VR-based HSE courses by offering our customers an entire multilingual catalogue that can be downloaded online from our platform and used immediately with VR headsets, which nowadays are standalone and easy to deploy.”

There are myriad of VR companies working in this field and while Immersive Factory focuses on HSE, FundamentalVR looks at surgical training, while Bohemia Interactive Simulations (BISim) concentrates on immersive military training solutions. For further updates on VR training, keep reading VRFocus.

Vive Developer Day Comes to VR Days Europe

VR Days Europe is one of the biggest events dedicated to virtual reality (VR) on the continent, offering a chance for industry professionals from across the globe to get together and discuss what’s happening now and in the future. As part of the three-day event HTC Vive will be hosting its bi-annual Vive Developer Day on Friday.

HTC Vive Pro

Part of the Vive X accelerator programme, the Vive Developer Day in Europe will offer developers a series of workshops, talks and panels to help them make the most of the HTC Vive platform.

Seesions will focus on topics like HTC VIve’s Hand Tracking SDK and SRanipal SDK for Eye Tracking. While speakers will include key members of the Vive team as well as Vertigo Games, Tobii, LIV, and Maze Theory who’ve just released Doctor Who: The Edge of Time.

“The developer community is very important to us at Vive, and these Developer Days are an essential opportunity for us to showcase exciting new innovations such as eye-tracking, that can help developers build even richer experiences. VRDays has grown to be one of the most respected conferences in Europe for the VR community, so we felt it was a perfect place to host this event” said Dave Haynes, Director of Vive X in a statement.

Vive Cosmos

The timeline for Vive Developer Day on Friday 15th is as follows:

  • Dave Haynes | Vive Welcome | 9:30 – 9:45
  • Dario Laverde | Introduction to the Vive Eye Tracking SDK | 9:45 – 10:15
  • Mattias Berglund | Eye tracking analysis – what you can see| 10:15 – 10:45
  • Dario Laverde | Bringing Hands Into Your Experience With The Vive Hand Tracking SDK | 10:45 – 11:30
  • Graham Breen | Vive Enterprise: Overview | 11:30 – 11:45
  • Amy Peck | Vive Enterprise: Panel | 11:45 – 12:15
  • Maria Rakusanova | Finding Your Audience Through Viveport | 12:15 – 12:30
  • Trevor Blom | Dev Talk: Vertigo Games | 12:30 – 12:50
  • Russell Harding | Dev Talk: Maze Theory | 12:50 – 13:10
  • AJ Shewki | Dev Talk: LIV | 13:10 – 13:30

VRFocus is at VR Days Europe, reporting on the latest news and announcements.

Applications for Vive X, HTC’s AR/VR Startup Accelerator, Close September 30th

The application deadline for HTC’s VR startup accelerator program is coming up quickly on September 30th. Now in its fifth batch of investments, the Vive X accelerator aims to help grow the global AR/VR ecosystem by providing tools, expertise, and investment to startups.

After kicking off in 2016, the Vive X accelerator now has presence in Asia, North America, Europe, and the Middle East, boasting hubs in Beijing, London, San Francisco, Taipei, Shenzhen, and Tel Aviv. HTC claims to have $100 million earmarked for investment in AR and VR startups through the accelerator.

On August 6th, Vive X opened applications through its website for its fifth and latest batch of startups; applications close on September 30th.

The accelerator is open to developers working in nearly every facet of the AR/VR industry, including entertainment, gaming, health, education, virtual commerce, hardware, media, and VR theme parks.

HTC & Shenzhen Government Team Up for $160 Million Investment Fund

HTC has thus far invested in and mentored more than 100 AR/VR startups, with companies to its name such as the brain-computer interface startup Neurable, South Korean haptic wearable creators bHaptics, and mixed reality software startup LIV.

The post Applications for Vive X, HTC’s AR/VR Startup Accelerator, Close September 30th appeared first on Road to VR.

Vive X 2019: LIV’s Dr Doom Talks Mixed Reality Video Capture

If you love playing virtual reality (VR) videogames and want to show how awesome they are then the best way of doing so is with mixed reality (MR) video. This style of video puts you, the gamer, inside the title to give viewers a taste of the VR greatness you’re playing. While not as easy to record as a Twitch stream, for example, improvements have been made over the years and one of the most popular pieces of software to record MR videos is LIV. VRFocus had a chat with LIV Inc’s. CEO and founder AJ ‘Dr Doom’ Shewki to learn more.


LIV Inc. is part of the Vive X accelerator and showcased its technology during the recent ‘Demo Days’ event in May. Shewki was there to not only demo the software solution and discuss investment opportunities with interested guests, but he also discussed what was next for the application, namely fully launching out of Early Access into version 1.0.

The update is set to introduce the long-awaited Avatar feature. As mentioned, MR videos rely on players actually being seen so viewers can better understand aspects like the motion control mechanics in VR videogames. But this requires greenscreens, depth cameras or an additional web camera. The Avatar feature means you don’t need these extra pieces of hardware, you can just download the Avatar you like and away you go – pretty much.

It uses less CPU and GPU power than regular cameras, plus Avatar perspective is controllable on the fly, with 4 types of viewpoint to choose from: Selfie, Third-person, First-person, and Gamepad.


The LIV tool can be downloaded for free via Steam, supporting over 20 VR titles including Beat Saber, The Wizards, Budgets Cuts, Space Junkies, Electronauts and Superhot. The update hasn’t gone live at the moment, with the studio yet to give a specific release date.

Check out the full interview with AJ ‘Dr Doom’ Shewki below. When VRFocus has further details regarding LIV and version 1.0 we’ll let you know.

Hands-on at Vive X: An Enterprise Focused Future

May ’19 saw the global Vive X accelerator hold a selection of demo days to help promote a variety of startup companies involved in the fourth batch selection. Days were held in Beijing, Tokyo and London (the one in San Francisco was this week), and VRFocus took a trip to the across the UK capital to see what was on offer.  

HTC Vive Pro Eye

One of the main reasons VRFocus also wanted to attend was to get some more hands-on time with the HTC Vive Pro Eyethe new flagship device which has just launched – as well as the HTC Vive Focus Plus, the standalone headset which is only going to be made available to enterprise customers – meaning it’s a rare chance to test the sucker out.

There were four companies showcasing their tech with Vive headsets, Kainos, Immersive Factory, Vobling and ZeroLight. Kainos is a British digital solutions company that was using Vive Pro Eye to demonstrate an AI driving tool, which could analyse and collect insights into driver behaviour – essentially a more advanced hazard awareness test. This certainly proved to be one of the more interesting use cases for virtual reality (VR) eye-tracking at the event, as the system could tell with incredible accuracy where a driver was looking at all times and how quickly and when they noticed a road hazard.

The simulator didn’t require any other input from the user – you didn’t need to actually drive the car, for example, it’s not Need for Speed – all that was required was awareness of the surroundings. This also meant the system logged one of the fundamental faults of most drivers, not looking at mirrors. It’s this type of VR use case that could introduce many more people to the technology, as it provides not only a better environment for hazard perception training; the software can offer decent accurate feedback.

Immersive Factory was the only company displaying the HTC Vive Focus Plus for its training software. Reasonably comfy, it’s a far bulkier piece of hardware than Oculus Quest, as well as being unable to offer the same tracking capabilities of the consumer headset (only two front-facing cameras!). Screen quality was good (as far as we could tell) from the one short demo, but highly noticeable was the unergonomic 6DoF controllers which are well below-par when compared to rivals.

As for Immersive Factory’s demo, it was a neat little simulation to teach correct health and safety procedures when operating a cherry picker. The goal was to change a bulb, demonstrating how not following safety procedures can lead to accidents while working at heights. Needless to say, VRFocus managed to get to the required height by operating the pickers levers but forgot to attach a safety harness. So when leaning towards the bulb the obvious happened, VRFocus went tumbling to the concrete floor.

Vobling was another company in the training realm, showcasing a VR simulator the firm had built for Scandinavian train operator SJ. This combined both the eye-tracking and controllers to help close a door that was stuck. Not a simple process  (there was no giving it a boot), the software provided a highly detailed environment where certain locations had to be inspected and a procedure followed to release the door properly.

Testing these sorts of simulators out certainly helps to demonstrate how useful VR really can be for the workplace (it doesn’t solely need to be about zombie headshots) particularly when offered the visual detail the HTC Vive Pro Eye can offer. And it now means VRFocus can unstick an SJ train door when travelling across Sweden if needs be.

As for ZeroLight, this is a company well versed in VR, having worked with cars makers like BMW on a range of projects. The one at Vive X was an oldie but a goldie, highlighting how purchasing a new BMW in the future could be done entirely in VR. The demo is a couple of years old now but it looks great on the Vive Pro Eye, being able to swap alloys around, change the paint colour and more. There was even a physical racing seat provided so that at the right moment you could step inside the car to examine the interior and alter its design as well.

VRFocus is positive regarding the future of consumer VR and only expects it to get better. However, should it all implode and the general public gets bored with strapping high-end tech to their faces, there will always be a place for VR when it comes to enterprise solutions. It’s just way too useful, with too many applications across a number of industries proving that when taken seriously, VR can produce excellent results.