Oculus and Samsung get all the press, but this funding news shows the future of virtual reality may be in the hands of China
Baofeng Mojing, a China-based manufacturer of virtual reality devices, has raised a RMB230 million (US$35 million) Series B round led by state-owned CITIC Capital Holdings, according to reports today in Chinese media.
The other investors reportedly are media company Huayi Brothers and VC firm Green Pine Capital Partners. The funding brings the company’s valuation to RMB1.4 billion (US$213 million).
A CITIC Capital spokesperson, in an email to e27, declined to comment on the reports.
Baofeng Mojing is based in Shenzhen and is the virtual reality arm of a Shenzhen-listed video company called Beijing Baofeng Technology Co.
In April, the VR-company raised a US$10-million Series A. Huayi and Green Pine also participated in that round.
Much like the Samsung Gear VR, the Baofeng Mojing headsets utilise a normal smartphone. The phone is snapped to the top of the device and filtered through lens technology, giving the appearance that the user is stepping into something like an interactive planetarium. Once an app is opened, an experience is uploaded and the person can look around their environment.
Baofeng Mojing hardware is cheap, which both makes it accessible to the public whilst tempering expectations. As of publishing, it is possible to buy a set (with a controller) for RMB200 (US$30) on JD.com. No reasonable person is going to expect an Oculus-type experience for 30 bucks.
Below is a short video demonstration of the Baofeng Storm Mojing III hardware.
Virtual reality in general is taking off globally, but thanks in large part to the manufacturing capabilities of cities like Shenzhen the industry is especially competitive in China.
Baofeng Mojing is one of the industry’s leaders, but it is not alone. Companies like DëePoon, 3Glasses and AntVR all are producing technology on the same playing field as Baofeng Mojing.
Also Read: Virtual reality is getting real in China
The funding news today is more evidence in support of the theory that the future of virtual reality may be coming out of China.
Image Credit: Shutterstock
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