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Part funded by Mixi and COLOPL, GREE announces its $12 million VR investment fund

Part funded by Mixi and COLOPL, GREE announces its $12 million VR investment fund

Japanese mobile publisher GREE has announced a $12 million early stage investment fund - GREE VR FUND - for VR and AR startups.

It will be focused on western companies and be run from GREE's San Francisco office.

So what, you might be thinking.

After all, the VR market is currently characterised as being awash with more money than sense.

However, there are three reasons that GREE's move is more nuanced than many other investors.

Firstly, the relatively small size of the initial fund and its early stage focus means GREE won't be investing (and risking) large amount of money, but still has the potential to make significant returns.

According to the fund's MD Teppei Tsutsui, investments will range from the 'hundreds of thousands of dollars to $500,000'.

“We can't wait to see what unique experiences early-stage companies are creating, and to identify how the GVR Fund can help bring their ideas into the hands of consumers worldwide."

Wider focus

Secondly, in keeping with GREE's wider corporate refocusing on its domestic Japanese market, it won't just be investing in games.

We think there is a big opportunity beyond gaming.
Teppei Tsutsui

Aside from the VR fund, the company is currently considering sectors as varied as real estate, and health fitness in terms of how it apply its mobile expertise.

“We think there is a big opportunity beyond gaming, and we’re already working with non-gaming clients in Japan who have IP to provide technical expertise,” says Tsutsui.

And one of its first VR investments is with San Francisco outfit VR Chat, which is building a platform for the creation and sharing of user-generated VR content.

The final interesting element of the fund is its typically Japanese collaborative approach, with fellow mobile publisher Mixi and COLOPL providing part of the initial investment.

VR debut

Alongside the announcement of the fund, GREE has also revealed it's releasing the first game from its internal GREE VR Studio in April.

Called Tomb of the Golem, the Gear VR shooter is a treasure hunt-style experience set in Egyptian ruins.

Contributing Editor

A Pocket Gamer co-founder, Jon is Contributing Editor at PG.biz which means he acts like a slightly confused uncle who's forgotten where he's left his glasses. As well as letters and cameras, he likes imaginary numbers and legumes.

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