Next-generation immersive content network, Inception, recently announced a $15 million Series A funding around which was led by RTL Group. There was also participation by James Packer, Gigi Levy-Weiss, and iAngels. In addition to funding, Christo Schizas, who is the Vice President of Business Development and Group Synergies at RTL Group, will be joining the board of directors at Inception.
RTL Group is a European entertainment company that has interests in many television channels and radio stations in various countries. Other investments include StyleHaul, cylyd, VideoAmp, AlloVoisins, and Shippit.
Gigi Levy-Weiss is a board member, co-founder, and angel investor for many different startup companies. Levy-Weiss previously served as CEO for 888 Holdings, an online gaming entertainment company. He holds an MBA from Kellogg School of Management in Northwestern University. Recent investments include Jeeng Ltm, MapMe, and WeissBeerger.
iAngels, as noted by the name, is an angel investment firm that seeks to enable the global investor audience the chance to invest in early stage startups in Israel. The firm is known for leveraging analytics, due diligence, and co-investment with venture capitalists to do so. Other recent investments include DBmaestro, Storyhunter, and Arbe Robotics.
Inception was founded in early 2016 by CEO Benny Arbel, CMO Dana Porter Rubinshtein, CCO Effi Wizen, and CTO Nitzan Shenar. The company takes proprietary content formats and technology and uses them to deliver programming with interactive VR experiences that include original programming with rights owners and publishers, curated 3rd party content, and channels of serial interactive content. It is served up via an application.
Inception officially launched in October of last year and now offers apps for Google Daydream, HTC Vive, iOS, Android, Oculus Rift, and Samsung Gear. Support for Sony PSVR and Microsoft Windows Mixed reality is in progress.
Arbel said, “VR is an incredible new entertainment medium and a fantastic opportunity for brands and talents to tell their stories and engage their audience as never before. Our unique combination of great technology and content will make VR more accessible and enjoyable for audiences around the world. Together, RTL Group and Inception can play a key role in shaping that experience by combining our expertise in content creation, episodic storytelling, and immersive technology to take audiences to the next level.”
The company caters to a growing virtual reality market, which has gone from 2.1 head-mounted displays in the year 2016 to almost 83 million in 2021. When you add in the millions of cardboard headsets that are available, the market shows itself as highly active. This will continue to be fueled by new devices from Google, Oculus, and Microsoft over the next two years.
Inception is clearly one of the leading destinations for premium content in 360 and VR, especially when it comes to millennials. Inception has produced notable lifestyle content, art, and music, including steady content with partners Pitchfork and Time Out. With more funding behind the company, it is clear that it is going nowhere and will continue to be a force to be reckoned with.