Roto VR secures £1.5m in funding for its 360 degree VR gaming chair

The designer of the world’s first interactive 360 degree chair, Roto VR, has raised £1.5 million in funds to “push VR games to the next level”.

Founded in 2015 by video games industry veterans Elliott Myers and Gavin Waxkirsh, Roto VR is a highly advanced interactive chair that “addresses the physical problems of consuming VR”, such as motion sickness and tangling cables, whilst also massively enhancing the immersive experience with haptic feedback.

The Roto VR chair is also motorised and can auto-rotate to wherever the user is looking, allowing for effortless 360-degree viewing and exploration, thus users can experience the full panorama in comfort and for longer periods of time. The Roto VR chair’s inbuilt desktop supports input devices such as a keyboard and mouse, which opens the door to productive 360-degree desktop computing. 

“Most people sit down to watch movies, work, play games and browse the internet and we see no reason why the exciting new medium of VR should be any different,” said co-founder and CEO of Roto VR, Elliott Myers.

The innovative product is compatible with most VR Head Mounted Displays (HMDs) and is also compatible with all movies and games, as well as a host of additional accessories such as racing wheels and joysticks.

The Roto VR chair SDK is now available to all developers, enabling them to optimise their games for use with the Virtual Reality Chair. For example, with driving games the player experience can be augmented with extra depth of immersion when travelling through corners, with similar benefits for flight sims and other motion-heavy titles.

The company is due to launch the consumer and office version of the Roto VR chair imminently, which provides a low-cost platform to ‘buy-in’ to the VR and Augmented Reality (AR) landscape. In addition, the team has identified a number of market opportunities across a select range of industries in the out-of-home sectors, such as cinemas and arcades, and has begun developing a range of products to accommodate them. 

Consumer Venture Capital Trust, Pembroke VCT is the lead investor. The TVB Growth Fund, managed by The FSE Group, also invested in the round. SP Angel Corporate Finance LLP acted as financial advisor to Roto VR on the fund raising. 

Andrew Wolfson, CEO Pembroke Investment Managers LLP, explained why they invested: “In Elliott we have found an entrepreneur who has solved a problem for the VR market with a solution that addresses the physical issues encountered whilst consuming VR content, as well as significantly enhancing the experience. We see future customers coming from both the B2B and B2C markets, in fields such as experiential attractions, home, cinemas and shopping centres. The company has employed a high calibre of people, and we believe that the business is well placed to take advantage of this fast-growing market.”

Kiko Duffy, Senior Fund Manager at The FSE Group, who manage the Thames Valley Berkshire Growth Fund on behalf of the Thames Valley Berkshire Local Enterprise Partnership, commented: “We are delighted to be backing Elliott and his team. The company’s products are a key part of bringing VR into the home and workplace and are a great example of British innovation with global potential”.

The global Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality market is expected to reach $94.4bn in value by 2023 according P&S Market Research. 

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