The startup, with offices in Fremont, is looking to develop Web-based tools to improve virtual-reality video for film and TV studios, as well as other media companies.
Pixvana, a Seattle virtual-reality video technology startup, has bagged $6 million in funding from investors.
The startup has designs on creating Web-based tools to improve virtual-reality video for film and television studios and other media companies, said Forest Key, Pixvana’s chief executive and one of its co-founders.
Investors in the funding round announced on Monday include Madrona Venture Group, Paul Allen’s Vulcan Capital, and former Microsoft executive and current Madrona adviser S. “Soma” Somasegar.
Pixvana joins a growing cluster of Seattle companies working to take advantage of a wave of virtual-reality hardware set to hit the consumer market in the coming year.
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Key, who started his career at Lucasfilm and later helped build Web video tools for Microsoft and Adobe, most recently founded and sold Seattle hotel-industry marketing tool software maker Buuteeq to travel giant Priceline Group.
While looking for his next venture, Key had a chance to try a demo of the HTC Vive, the virtual-reality headset the Taiwanese phone maker built in partnership with Bellevue’s Valve Software, a game developer. He was immediately sold on virtual reality.
“It’s pretty magical when you have that notion of presence,” Key said. “It’s hard to convey. VR (used to be) the promised land, and it didn’t actually work yet. Now it does.”
Key is joined in Pixvana’s Fremont office by Bill Hensler, chief product officer, who is formerly of Apple and Adobe. Two other executives with experience in digital video and visual effects will work remotely from California. The company plans to hire 10 to 20 engineers in Seattle during the coming year, Key said.