Insights EDU

105+ Funding Sources For Virtual & Augmented Reality Projects

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AIXR Team

15 Apr 2021 | 5 min read

The Funding Guide has been recently updated for 2021.

Over the last 5 years VR and AR technologies have had a rollercoaster of a journey. Interest surrounding the technology peaked in 2014, when Facebook announced it would acquire Oculus. This spurred on an army of startups, many of whom quickly descended into bankruptcy or administration. Entrepreneurs were entering a market that was not ready for them, vastly underestimating how long it would take for consumers to embrace the technology.

While VR / AR technologies have been stuck as “the next big thing” for a couple of years now, the outlook for the future is stronger than ever before. IDC forecasts that the spending on AR/VR will grow from just over $12.0 billion in 2020 to $72.8 billion in 2024.

The long history has created a certain skepticism towards XR among investors, something AIXR has worked to tackle since its foundation. That is where our comprehensive list of XR funding sources comes in. We want to get your incredible ideas in front of investors, and bring investment back to XR. Before applying to any of these opportunities, please check out our XR investment guide for tips on reaching people with an effective pitch.

In this article, we highlight some of the best and most relevant funding sources specific to immersive technology, with a more exhaustive list available with over 105 grants, funding opportunities, and VC capital firms with a proven track record in XR.

Free download: 105+ XR Funding sources

Get free access to over 105+ free XR funding sources containing detailed information on open grants, funds, VC’s and more.

Government Funding Sources

UK Research and Innovation Body

In 2021, UKRI continues to be a promising option for XR companies at various levels of funding and scale in the UK. They fund businesses to develop innovative products, processes or services.

If you want to find out more about UK Research and Innovation funding opportunities, press here.

Arts Council UK

Arts Council UK was created to champion and develop art and culture across the UK. With their new strategy for 2020-2030 ‘Let’s Create’, Arts Council UK aims to transform the country with culture. They are offering funding opportunities for organisations, artists, events, initiatives and others who can help them achieve their strategy.

Find more information here.

International Grants

Unreal MegaGrants:

Epic Games have now changed their previous $5 million development fund into a much larger $100 million in “MegaGrants”. Committed to supporting game developers, enterprise professionals, students, educators, and tool developers, the remit for application is incredibly wide. The grants range from $5000 to $500,000 and you can apply here.

HTC VIVE’s VR Accelerator – VIVE X:

VIVE X is a VR Accelerator that aims to help cultivate, foster and grow the global VR ecosystem, supporting startups and providing education, investment and mentorship. At the moment, accelerator programs are located across the globe in the following locations: Beijing, San Francisco, Taipei, ShenZhen and Tel Aviv.

Unicef Venture Fund:

The fund provides $50,000 – $100,000 in equity free seed-funding to startups registered in one of Unicef’s programme countries, with a strong team and a clear path to impact on children’s lives. 

For this, Unicef is seeking open-source projects showing some positive traction already, but funding would take it to a level where it can attract additional investment.

Venture Capital Investment Sources

Venture Reality Fund

The Venture Reality Fund is working to fund the future of computing including immersive and spatial technology. Together with world-class limited partners, the Venture Reality Fund invests in innovative solutions and promising entrepreneurs across a variety of sectors, from infrastructure and development tools to content and applications. The Venture Reality Fund has previously funded Owlchemy Labs, Beat Games and Facemoji among others.

Super Ventures

Super Ventures specialise in getting Augmented Reality projects funded. Previous successful startups that have benefited from Super Ventures investor network include Gravity Sketch, Cognitive3D and Fringefy. Super Ventures work with start ups and guide them through the funding process including pre-seed and seed capital.

Accel

Accel is a venture capital fund that invests in people and their companies from early stages throughout all the phases of growth. The key focuses of Accel are growing the next-generation business and funding innovation. Accel has invested in businesses like EmergentVR, Spotify and Facebook over the past 35 years.

Qualcomm Ventures

Qualcomm Ventures is a corporate venture capital arm of Qualcomm. Qualcomm Ventures are focused on investing in early to late stage companies within the mobile/wireless sector, IoT, connected automotive, AI, mobile and digital health. Qualcomm Ventures have invested previously in Zoom, Owlchemy Labs, Ring.

If you would like to add additional funding sources, grants or venture funds to AIXR Funding Guide, please email [email protected]

Free download: 105+ XR Funding sources

Get free access to over 105+ free XR funding sources containing detailed information on open grants, funds, VC’s and more.

About the author:

AIXR is an independent, community first, not for profit organisation that exists to support individuals and companies of all sizes as the International trade body for immersive technology industries. AIXR or, The Academy of International Extended Reality, hosts the VR Awards annually. AIXR’s mission is to support individuals and companies in the immersive industry by endorsing, inspiring, and enabling innovators through removing barriers to entry and connecting a diverse collection of trades together.

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