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Jaunt gets big round of money from big media

North Face offers a virtual reality experience using Oculus and Jaunt technology to provide customers with a view of what it's like to rock climb and base jump.
Christopher Gregory | The Washington Post | Getty Images
North Face offers a virtual reality experience using Oculus and Jaunt technology to provide customers with a view of what it's like to rock climb and base jump.

Jaunt announced on Monday a $66 million round of financing, moving it closer to its goal of becoming the HBO, Netflix or Hulu for virtual reality.

The three lead investors are key content partners: The Walt Disney Company, Evolution Media Partners—which is a partnership of agency CAA and Jeff Skoll's Participant Media— and China-based CMC Capital Partners.

They join European media giants ProSieben, Axel Springer and Sky, along with the Madison Square Garden Company, Google Ventures, SV Angel, Paul McCartney and others, who have invested more than $100 million total.

"One of the most important things in terms of VR—making it a truly mainstream technology—is to give people content that they can truly relate to," said Jaunt CEO and founder Jens Christensen.

"And these are companies that really have a lot of experience producing and developing and distributing content that users really want. When we set about doing our series C round, we were focused on making it a strategic round. We wanted to make sure we got partners on board that could help support our strategy and would give us global reach," said Christensen.

Jaunt offers cameras for shooting VR, and software for producing it, along with an app in Apple's iTunes store and the Android Google Play store for distributing VR to any headset. Christensen said the company will use this round of funding for production, and to help bring its new strategic investors into the new dimension.

"We hope to create plenty of VR content; to have the first meaningful large content library of VR," said Christensen. "A company like Disney has a ton of assets that we can partner on."

Jaunt is already leveraging that relationship, just last week partnering with Disney's ABC News to shoot immersive VR content in Syria.

The market for VR is still rather limited but is expected to take off next year when Facebook's Oculus and Sony's Morpheus put their new headsets on sale.