RetinadVR the Montreal-based VR data analytics startup announced that they have been acquired by LumiereVR a Toronto based studio which uses virtual reality technologies to produce films. Retinad was founded by 23-year-old Thiel fellow in 2014.
As a result of the transaction, Retinad’s industry-leading VR analytics product will be rolled into LumiereVR’s location-based entertainment suite and re-released to the public in mid-2019. Retinad created the first VR advertising and analytics platform in the market. Their tool helped companies track and measure how their users behaved in VR environments, primarily by demonstrating the user’s movement within VR experiences. Developers, advertisers and creatives leverage the platform to help quantify their games, ads, films and more. As a result, Retinad pioneered early VR studies with Google’s JumpVR, Yahoo!, YuMe, Isobar and the University of Montreal.
“We made an early bet with Retinad in 2015, and while we feel the market is just getting started, we are confident they will accomplish great things under their new home with LumiereVR” Marc Alloul, Partner at W3 and first investor in RetinadVR, commented.
LumiereVR is a location-based VR company founded in 2015 by InkFellow Travis Wu and two-time Forbes30Under30 recipient Qinya Jenny Guo. The duo has built an extensive VR distribution network for museums, aquariums and large venues such as Madison Square Garden who use their synchronization technology to power VR experiences for thousands of monthly visitors.
Retinad can be considered a pioneer in the VR industry, the company was part of the Rothenberg VC River accelerator program, having graduated from the second cohort in December 2015.
“It is no secret the industry has a lot of work left to prove its long-term sustainability– the essential metrics in terms of adoption and clear use-cases are only now starting to surface. In my humble opinion, LumiereVR is a rocketship that I believe has cracked the code on how to build a successful, scalable VR business for today’s market by partnering with venues with strong foot traffic,” said Alexander Haque, CEO at RetinadVR.
LumiereVR recently transferred their head office from Silicon Valley amidst the slower than anticipated growth of the industry, known as the ‘winter of VR’ that occurred throughout much of 2017 and 2018. Notable investors include HTC Vive X and TechStars Canada. The two founders are bullish on Canada being an epicenter for VR/AR development, having capitalized on government incentives and credits available exclusively to Canadian VR corporations, helping the company to maintain and retain its talented team of 8. The acquisition was born from an eagle-eyed Maryam Sabour, founder of X Consulting, a strategic consulting firm specializing in VR/AR companies. The founders of both LumiereVR and Retinad credit Ms. Sabour for putting the two companies together and helping them think through the M&A process.
“We are thrilled RetinadVR is joining forces with LumiereVR. It is a natural fit since we were a client of theirs and would use analytics daily to monitor our VR ‘Microtheaters’ across the United States and Canada” said Travis Wu, co-founder of LumiereVR. “LumiereVR looks forward to building on the great analytics legacy RetinadVR created in the last few years. By combining RetinadVR’s assets with those of LumiereVR, we will be able to offer even better and deeper data analytics to the VR community by mid-2019. Specifically, our extensive list of LBE partners in China will be able to leverage important insights to fuel their locations”