As early as 2016, HTC set up a $ 100 million fund for VR startups called Vive X in the hope of expanding both applications and use cases for its then new Vive VR headset. HTC was not afraid to invest and introduced 20 startups in December, increasing the number to 80 in 2017 and more recently focusing on business opportunities. Today, HTC has almost doubled the value of its investment thanks to external funds raised by the startups it supports and has more than 100 deals spread across six global locations. HTC has also quietly added seven companies to the Vive X-Fold that focus primarily, but not exclusively, on Enterprise XR solutions.
Companies were a particular bright spot for HTC, which has also hunted consumer applications and games for its growing range of high-end VR headsets. The company anticipates an average annual growth rate of 39% for the corporate VR segment by 2023, resulting in a $ 4.26 billion market, and is aggressively investing in business-oriented VR and AR companies.
The seven new Vive X companies are:
- 3Data, Developer of a 3D visualization tool that IT / cybersecurity teams can use to view a webXR-based panoramic view of IoT sensor data, alerts, logs, and other data streams as if they were in a computer command center.
- BodySwaps, Manufacturers of VR soft skills learning tools that can help businesses and educational institutions bring about lasting behavioral changes in human interactions.
- Imaged Reality, Developer of 3DGAIA, a tool that allows users in the oil industry to virtually examine and edit 3D terrain data collected from drones to “bring the field to the office”.
- Maze theory, Designers of immersive VR experiences including Doctor Who: The Edge of Time, Peaky Blinders, and Project engram.
- ORamaVR, responsible for VR simulations on health education that can be targeted for specific operations such as hip, knee and dental treatments, as well as more extensive training on topics such as emergency trauma and basic clinical skills.
- Talespin, Manufacturer of the runway platform for soft skills training and other XR-based learning applications, as well as field tools to support employee work performance.
- Viewpoint, Developer of training systems for corporate employees on topics such as policies to combat sexual harassment in the workplace, diversity, justice and inclusion.
One of HTC's previous startups, the VR CAD collaboration company Mindesk, was taken over by the Australian software company Vection. HTC notes that 17 Vive X companies collectively raised over $ 60 million last year. These include, in particular, Proprio, the healthcare imaging company, and the aforementioned Talespin, which attracted international attention (and $ 15 million) after presenting the simulation of their employee layoff.
Although the latest group of Vive X Accelerator startups is largely business-centric, HTC continues to support businesses with unique technology ideas for VR, AR, AI, and 5G, as well as advanced user experience development. On the hardware side, HTC plans to convince PC and smartphone users with a mixture of Vive Cosmos VR headsets and Vive Proton XR glasses if it goes beyond its earliest designs.