Three companies out of YC’s latest Summer 16 batch of 92 companies (which were publicly disclosed) are focused on VR uses and applications. As the bellwether incubator for top technology startups, and thus a strong leading indicator of where the industry is headed, Y Combinator will serve as an excellent barometer of growth for the nascent VR and AR industries.
The companies that launched are: Skylights, an in-flight VR entertainment system; ConstructVR, a distribution platform for enterprise VR applications; and Sixa, an infrastructure layer virtualizing high performance PCs for VR in the cloud.
Remember, before iPhones, newly launching companies would proclaim a “Mobile strategy,” and that became a “Mobile First” strategy, and now, no one says that, because it’s just modus operandi….? Well, expect to hear similar terminology about a “VR/AR strategy” over the the next 12 months.
Let’s talk a little about timing and stars aligning.
Pokemon Go: Since this current S16 batch applied and were accepted to YC this past fall, Pokemon GO launched and became a global phenomenon, making Augmented Reality a kitchen table term and raking in $200M in it’s first month.
Snapchat, the world’s most actively used Augmented Reality application — Face Filters — is rumored to be working on a more formal AR/VR device and solution.
Best Buy just signed on to be a key sales and distribution partner for Oculus this holiday season, putting demo rigs in over 500 retail stores.
Playstation VR: Very soon, we’ll start seeing the Q4 deluge of holiday commercials for the upcoming release of Playstation VR, which will make Virtual Reality a household demand, and parents the crazed purchasers. To further “cross-the-t,” during GameStop’s recent quarterly earnings call, they reported the Playstation VR pre-order was the “quickest sellout in GameStop history” and it happened in “literally five minutes.”
This time next year, we’ll have a massive increase in VR and AR applications launching from Y Combinator, and other industry leading incubators like TechStars and 500Startups. To throw out a projection, because why not, this time next year we’ll see a 5x increase increase in companies graduating from YC with Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality focuses.
If you’re interested in building a company in the space, now is the time.
If you want to hang, talk and learn more about VR & AR join us at VR Tuesday.