Thrilled to invest in BigBox VR, building the future of Esports in Virtual Reality

I am incredibly excited to share that Shasta Ventures has led a $5M round in BigBox VR, and I will be joining the Board of Directors.

Co-founders Chia Chin Lee and Gabe Brown are incredible entrepreneurs who are taking a true VR-native approach to social interaction and building long standing games. Their past experience building compelling game products for both social and mobile platforms over the past decade are enabling them to take advantage of the early market timing of VR to build what we believe can be a true franchise for the next decade.

Chia Chin and Gabe have built an incredible team in Seattle where they produced Smashbox Arena in late 2016, and are developing their recently announced title Population: One, a Battle Royale-style game which has been in the works since early 2017. Core to the game dynamic is social interaction, immersion and free motion, taking advantage of the best features of VR. Tantamount to game play, the team has focused on creating a super compelling spectating experience to watch game play from a “gods eye view.” It actually is as exciting to watch players strategically battling it out while having the ability to scale into the 3D play field at any size or location. Think about it like the best NFL field cams flying above gameplay.

We believe that while the VR market is still emerging to scale, there is currently a robust and healthy ecosystem of gamers and enthusiasts who will create the foundation of this community. And we can take advantage of the relatively early market position to create a game system and social platform that has the opportunity to allow users to natively express themselves in these new digital worlds. We will take advantage of the consistent and stable growth of VR as more in home systems are deployed, through potential location-based opportunities, and more accessible devices like Oculus Quest.

I could not be more excited to partner with Chia Chin, Gabe and the entire BigBox team to help create the future of immersive social experiences in virtual reality!

And a quick, and very important hat tip! to Martina Welkhoff of Women in XR Fund who introduced me to the team.

I invest in Emerging Platforms at Shasta Ventures, specifically technologies bridging the digital and physical worlds including Applied Computer Vision, Perception, Robotics, AR/VR, Esports, Blockchain, and the future of Financial Services. If you’re working on something interesting in these spaces I’d love to chat with you. Find me on twitter @jacob.