Disney bets on Jaunt for virtual reality push

Gamescom 2015
COLOGNE, GERMANY - AUGUST 05: A visitor wears a virtual reality glasses the Sony Morpheus at the Gamescom 2015 gaming trade fair during the media day on August 5, 2015 in Cologne, Germany. Gamescom is the world's largest digital gaming trade fair and will be open to the public from August 6-9. (Photo by Sascha Schuermann/Getty Images)
Photograph by Sascha Schuermann — Getty Images

Disney made a big bet on virtual reality Monday, leading a $65 million investment in virtual reality startup Jaunt. Other investors included Evolution Media Partners, TPG Growth, Participant Media and China-based China Media Capital (CMC).

Jaunt, who previously raised funds from Google (GOOG) Ventures, BskyB, and others not only has created a patent-pending virtual reality camera, but is also focused on developing and producing virtual reality content for brands.

Founded in 2013, the company uses the Jaunt ONE camera system to capture content with a 360 degree view in virtual reality. The company’s camera competes with Samsung’s VR camera, and GoPro’s virtual reality camera in partnership with Google.

Jaunt also has a studio to produce virtual reality content, and recently staffed the group with a number of executives, including the former CTO of Lucasfilm (the TV and production company behind Star Wars, which Disney acquired in 2012), Cliff Plumer, and the former COO of Lucasfilm, David Anderman.

The company has already worked with brands to create virtual reality content including The North Face, Rebecca Minkoff, Condé Nast, Paul McCartney, and ABC News.

Disney (DIS) is interesting considering the ways that the company could incorporate virtual reality into its own theme parks or even into movie content.

We’ll likely see more VC funding into virtual reality in the coming year. According to CB Insights, investors poured money into 40 deals in the first half of 2015, marking two back to back active quarters for the industry.

For more on Facebook’s virtual reality strategy, watch this video:

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