The Seattle startup builds cloud-based software that allows video-makers to edit their work for viewing in video-reality headsets.
What: Pixvana, a Seattle developer of editing and publishing software for virtual-reality videos
Who: Forest Key, founder and CEO
Video software: Pixvana makes cloud-based software that allows people to edit videos for virtual-reality headsets. Videographers can shoot their own video, then upload files and edit, add titles, adjust sound, etc., using Pixvana’s Spin Studio.
Stitching it together: Spin Studio starts by “stitching” together a bunch of images to create the 360-degree spherical view required for virtual reality. After editing, Pixvana also helps publish videos so others can find them.
Aha moment: Key was searching for his next project after his previous startup, Buuteeq, sold to Priceline Group. He tried the HTC Vive virtual reality headset and fell in love with the immersive VR experience. “It really was a profound ‘aha’ moment for me, maybe more than anything I’ve experienced in a lifetime,” he said.
Film connection: Key knew he wanted to do something in the up-and-coming VR field, and he figured he could bring his film background into the mix. After college, he worked doing visual effects at Lucasfilm. Key set out to make it possible for people to create compelling video for VR.
Coming soon: Pixvana has been testing its software with organizations around Seattle, including the Sounders, Pacific Northwest Ballet and restaurant Manolin. The company’s product will be available to the public this quarter, and will be updated throughout the year. A basic version will be free, and customers can pay for added features, such as faster performance.
Startup sum: Pixvana raised $6 million in December 2015 from Madrona Venture Group and Vulcan Capital. The startup is based in Seattle’s Fremont neighborhood and has 18 employees.
— Rachel Lerman