San Francisco-based virtual reality platform VRChat announced last week that it raised $80 million in a Series D round led by Anthos Capital. This is the company’s largest raise since it was founded in 2016, and stands as a vote of confidence from pandemic-weary investors, aware of an increasingly digital world.
On VRChat users can create, publish and explore virtual settings with other users from around the world. The app doubles as a social media platform where users can digitally congregate for virtual events.
Once users are logged on to VRChat, they can create customizable avatars and hop around from one virtual world to the next. The platform features over 30,000 virtual worlds to choose from and that number continues to grow as users continue to create new worlds of their own. Users on the platform can meet up for everything from virtual happy hours to Dungeons and Dragons.
“From the earliest days of VRChat we knew that people have more creative ideas than we could ever imagine for ourselves,” Jesse Joudrey, chief technical officer of VRChat, said in a statement. “We provided them with the most powerful tools to express those ideas and they have shown us what they can do.”
With over 40,000 users, VRChat is the top free VR application on Steam and the Oculus Rift store, according to the company. However a VR headset isn’t required to participate on the platform, all that’s needed is an up-to-date Windows PC.
“During the ongoing pandemic, VRChat has also served as a way for our community to meet up and hang out with their friends in settings that they might want to avoid in real life,” a spokesperson for the company said in a statement. “A crowded room packed with people dancing to live DJ music might not be advisable in many parts of the world right now — but in VRChat, it is a regular (and safe!) occurrence.”
The company will invest the additional capital in the continued development of its platform which includes hiring for its team. VRChat is now hiring for six open roles. Three engineering positions are currently up for grabs along with positions in HR, finance and community support.
“[Our] team has always been rich in ideas but short on resources. This round of funding will accelerate our ambitions to grow VRChat alongside our community in many meaningful ways for years to come,” Ron Millar, the company’s chief creative officer, said in a recent blog post.
VRChat has raised $95.2 million in venture capital financing to date.
Additional investors Makers Fund and GFR Fund participated in the round, among others.