Count Alphabet’s investment arm as another top venture firm that’s betting on a new Seattle-area virtual reality startup.
Envelop VR, a Bellevue-based company developing virtual reality software, today announced a $1.5 million investment from GV, formerly known as Google Ventures until this past month (Alphabet is the new parent company that houses Google). The fresh cash completes a $5.5 million Series A round that was led by Seattle-based Madrona Venture Group, which announced its involvement this past October.
Envelop, which also raised $2 million from a group of high-power angels in June, is led by video game industry veteran and Uber Entertainment CEO Bob Berry. The company develops software that gives users a more immersive computing experience for task-based activities. It is targeting business clients who can use the service to work in a virtual environment and solve problems more quickly — think features like infinite monitors and 3D data visualization — or give their own customers a chance to utilize virtual reality technology for a variety of applications.
“Imagine taking a tour of a new commercial building — before it’s built,” the company notes. “VR allows you to experience a proposed job site in full scale and fully immersed. Walk the halls of a hospital, or sit in the corner office. Changes can then be made and experienced before construction ever begins, saving time and budget.”
Developers can also use Envelop’s software to work and create content while in their own 3D environment, eliminating the need to switch between 2D and 3D worlds during testing.
Envelop plans to roll out its first software product — Envelop Virtual Environment (EVE) — later this year when headsets like the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive hit store shelves.
“Immersive computing isn’t just a consumer phenomenon; business and productivity applications will greatly benefit as well,” GV General Partner Joe Kraus said in a statement. “The Envelop Virtual Environment is about making it easy for businesses to bring their applications into VR.”
Here’s a bit more about EVE as described by the company:
The Envelop Virtual Environment (EVE) will enable those with VR headsets to do their normal computing while they are in a 3D virtual environment, but now with the increased benefits and functionality that come with immersive computing. This includes being able to have multiple windows up at any given time, and moving and positioning them within their personal work environment in a way that makes them most productive and best fits their individual needs. EVE will also allow developers that are creating VR content to be able to comfortably work and stay in their VR headsets, instead of having to constantly switch between them and their 2D flat computer monitors as they do now.