Felix & Paul, the Montreal-based producer of virtual reality (VR) content has raised some helpful cash in its quest to dominate the VR content market.
The studio closed a deal worth $6.8 million from leading investor Comcast Ventures, the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, LDV Partners and existing investor Phi Group.
“At Felix & Paul Studios, our mission is to create extremely high quality VR experiences that strike an emotional chord in viewers,” said cofounder Stéphane Rituit. “This round of funding…points to a massive need for high quality VR content across the media landscape.”
The Emmy Award-Winning Studio will use the cash to build its team and production capacity, enhance its proprietary VR cameras and post-production software suite, and to sell its cinematic VR content across major VR platforms around the world.
In an interview, cofounder Paul Raphael (yes, the “Paul”) told the Los Angeles Times he saw the money as a way to increase both the quality and quantity of content.
“The demand has just been exploding over the past year and a half, and so have the opportunities,” Raphael told the newspaper. “We’d like to expand the technology, the team, the content and the partnerships with other studios.”
According to a release, Felix & Paul Studios currently employs 37 “VR specialists” in Montreal and Los Angeles. Last year, the studio produced seven VR experiences for the Oculus platform across Rift and Gear VR. This year the company already has “over 30 projects in the pipeline in various stages of development.”
“Felix & Paul are incredibly talented filmmakers that have been pioneering VR since the earliest Oculus dev kits,” said Oculus’ head of content, Jason Rubin. “They’ve continued to push the boundaries of cinematic VR and are instrumental in the growth of the medium.”
— Comcast Ventures (@ComcastVentures) June 15, 2016
Michael Yang, the managing director of Comcast Ventures, will join the Felix & Paul Studios board of directors.
“Their stories have touched audiences all over the world and their pieces are award winning,” said Yang.
As the Times pointed out, venture capital has been flowing to VR companies lately. Last September, Jaunt Studios raised $65 million, while earlier this month Hollywood director Robert Stromberg’s The Virtual-Reality Company, best known for creating the recent “Martian VR” piece, raised $23 million. They’re all producing “cinematic VR,” or Hollywood-style narrative and documentary storytelling, as opposed to video games.
Photo by tribecafilm.com