May 12, 2017

Virtual reality startup raises half a billion dollars

Improbable Worlds, a London-based platform for third-party virtual reality and simulated world game developers, has raised $502 million in Series B funding. SoftBank led the deal in exchange for a minority stake, and was joined by return backers Andreessen Horowitz and Horizons Ventures.

Why it matters: This appears to be the largest "venture capital" investment ever in a European startup, let alone in the software space. It's also yet another massive check from SoftBank, which did this deal off its balance sheet instead of via Vision Fund (although don't be shocked if this, and some other recent SoftBank investments, get rolled into Vision once it closes).

Quotable: "AI gets all the press, [but] this idea of recreating reality is going to become something in the public consciousness that's as important, as significant, as artificial intelligence." ― Improbable CEO Herman Narula to Wired

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