BSkyB invests in virtual reality video startup Jaunt

Lynsey Barber
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BSkyB invests in cinematic VR (Source: Reuters)

BSkyB is investing nearly half a million dollars in Jaunt, an immersive video startup which is developing ways to bring the cinema experience to virtual reality devices.

The $400,000 funding is the second round of investment in the California-based company for Sky, previously investing $350,000 in the early stage startup at the end of last year.

The investment provides Sky “with additional insight into developments within the field,” it said in a short regulatory filing.

The broadcaster, which last week expanded its media empire in Europe after acquiring its counterparts in Germany and Italy, has previously made similar investments in startup technology, including streaming device Roku and social TV app Beamly (previously called Zeebox).

In April Jaunt said its funding totaled $6.8m from Redpoint Ventures, Peter Gotcher, Blake Krikorian and SV Angel in addition to Sky.

Citing the rise of VR technology such as Oculus, bought up by Facebook for $2bn, and Sony’s Project Morpheus, Jaunt CEO Jens Christensen said at the time:

“VR as it exists today is mainly about video games. We want to broaden the VR experience to mainstream entertainment. Jaunt has built the technology to put virtual reality in the hands of the best content creators in the world to deliver stunning, reach-out-and-touch-it entertainment experiences using VR goggles.”

The investment is understood to be a second round of funding for Jaunt, which has yet to reveal other investors at this stage.

Jaunt creates hardware, software and content for virtual reality devices to create an immersive experience for users watching films or TV shows.

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