Virtual Reality Video Platform Vrideo Calls It Quits

Janko Roettgers
Variety

Santa Monica, Calif.-based Vrideo wanted to be the YouTube of virtual reality. But on Monday, Vrideo founder Alex Rosenfeld admitted that it may have bit off more than it could chew: “We’re sad to announce that Vrideo is shutting down as of today,” Rosenfeld announced on Vrideo’s blog.

Vrideo launched in March of 2015 as a platform for 360 video and immersive content, which it published on both the web as well as on apps for all the major VR headsets, inlcuding Oculus Rift, HTC Vive and PlayStation VR.

The startup had raised around $2 million in funding in early 2015 from investors including Machinima co-founder Allen DeBevoise, Betaworks and Lerer Hippeau Ventures. Vrideo was apparently unable to raise any additional funding since, and simply ran out of money. “We’ve now stretched this modest funding as far as it could take us, especially in light of the rising costs associated with our growth,” Rosenfeld said Monday.

Vrideo was not only competing with YouTube itself, which has put a lot of resources behind becoming a platform for 360 video, but also a number of other companies building their own destinations for cinematic VR content. These include WEVR, which features its own and select other films on its Transport app, Disney and A+E Networks-backed Littlstar and Jaunt, which has raised around $100 million from Disney and others.

“We often joke about the fact that we have more apps than we do team members,” Rosenberg wrote on Monday. He ended his sign-off with a conciliatory note to Vrideo’s competitors: “It’s been a privilege to play a role, however small, in the emergence of this new medium.  We’ll be rooting for all of you who continue to carry it forward.”

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