Funding for virtual reality startups has grown more sparse over the last couple years, as investors have seized with extended timelines for mainstream approval. Meanwhile, connected fitness has exploded, gaining attention amid shelter-in-place as business like Peloton have watched huge consumer additions with Mirror recently selling to Lululemon for $500 million.
FitXR wants the virtual reality headset to become the next hot-seller in the connected fitness space.
The startup, which develops the favourite VR exercise app BoxVR, tells TechCrunch it has just closed $7.5 million in Series A fund led by Hiro Capital. The funding was organized with $6.3 million in equity speculation alongside a $1.2 million loan from Innovate UK, a UK government org. Other investors include Adam Draper’s BoostVC, Maveron and TenOneTen Ventures.
FitXR’s play BoxVR, has become one of the better-known purpose-built exercise apps available for VR devices. The boxing designation adopts a Guitar Hero-esque interface influenced by Beat Saber but concentrates on more physically-demanding flows like rapid uppercuts and pokings. The startup sells the app, which is available in the Oculus Store, PlayStation Store and Steam, for $29.99, with added content battalions going for $9.99.
Working out in VR has gradually transformed into a common use case for headsets thanks to the physical shift required for some of the more frenetic designations. Beat Saber, which Facebook acquired last year for an undisclosed quantity, had been among the first deeds to fully realize the opportunity. Earlier this year, a16z-backed VR studio Within propelled a subscription rehearsal app announced Supernatural. Late last year, SF-based YUR grew $1.1 M in pre-seed funding for their VR utilization software.
The virtual reality market has had a lot to gain from shelter-in-place, but supply series problems with the industry’s surface support, Oculus, left VR studios with spate of missed possibilities. All of Oculus’s headsets, including their $ 399 standalone Quest headset, have been sold out or in low-supply since the beginning of the year, new developments that has negatively affected the growth of an industry that is increasingly reliant on Facebook.
VR headset don’t have heart rate monitors or other fitness moving capabilities, but VR developers do have access to plenty of action data from how much and how quickly a user’s headset and controllers are moving. FitXR exerts this data to calculate calories burned and lets users mounted personal goals for how many calories they’d like to burn in-app on a daily basis.
For now, FitXR’s makes sits exclusively inside the VR headset, but as the company examines to scale its team of 20 further with this funding, the company’s leader is teasing those who are interested in having its world ripen beyond the headset.
” We look at our own usage of such products and we don’t think it should be constrained to virtual reality ,” FitXR CEO Sam Cole told TechCrunch in an interview.” But I visualize the sticking point for us is the fact that we believe the most fun way setting out is in a VR headset. And therefore the strong focus from us as a company is to continue to to build and innovate in that space .”
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