Largely viewed as one of the most important of pioneers in the emerging world of VR, Chris Milk today is announcing that his VR company has received $12.56 million in Series A financing and will be changing its name from Vrse to Within. Led by Andreessen Horowitz (the angel investors behind 45 start-ups, including Twitter) the VR company’s investors also include 21st Century Fox, WME, Live Nation, Vice, Tribeca Enterprises and Megan Ellison’s Annapurna Pictures.
In a new Medium post, Milk explained his reasoning for changing the name from Vrse to Within. “VR eliminates the need for external frames,” wrote Milk. “For the first time, the medium is no longer outside us, but within us. The paint is human experience and the canvas is our consciousness. The idea of an externalized medium ceases to exist. That’s why I think of VR as the last medium.”
Courtesy of Within
Milk further explores this concept of VR being the last medium, is a recent TED Talk, which is also being released today.
Milk’s post also addresses some of the recent nay-saying that has developed around VR, admitting that “the reality of VR is currently lagging behind the promise” and that the available content is limited. Milk, however, says this is to be completely expected in the adoption cycle of a technology that is so revolutionary.
According to COO Drew Larner, this new fund will allow the Los Angeles-based Within to grow and produce even more VR experiences.
“We’re just under 20 full time employees,” Larner told IndieWire in a recent interview. “That is going to change as we start ramping up on hiring. We’re going to announce some business hires that I just made and we’re bringing aboard more engineers all the time. We don’t want to grow super fast, but we want to grow at the right speed.”
When asked if there were any strategic partnerships with any of the large media companies investing in Within, especially Fox, Larner said there were none to announce at this time. He did single out that they have been extremely impressed with Fox, however.
“I think by the virtue of what Fox has done to date in the space, that they are one of the most, if not the most, forward-looking studios around VR,” said Larner.
The Within app is available on Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, along with iOS, Android and GearVR devices. If you already have the Vrse app, the branding will simply just update next time you update the app.