As one of our first steps to move further into the AR space, we are very excited to announce that the GFR Fund, Super Ventures, and The VR Fund have joined together to co-organize the first Global Augmented Reality (AR) Online Pitch Event, which will take place in early May 2018. This online-only event is perfect for AR startups that are looking for pre-seed, seed or Series A investment and want to connect with key investors who believe in the future of AR but find it hard to meet in-person due to distance, time and resources.
We wanted to organize this event for a couple of reasons:
First, we believe that there still is a gap between founders and investors. Particularly at this early stage of the industry’s life cycle, it is hard for founders to identify "the" investors who believe in AR and are comfortable betting on this, emerging market. To that end, we are only inviting to our Global AR Online Pitch Event, those investors who are willing to take a risk and commit to investing in AR, such as Shasta Ventures (who launched the Camera Fund last fall), betaworks (who is running the visioncamp right now), Akatsuki (who recently launched an AR-focused AET Fund) and many others.
Secondly, we want to remove geographical boundaries. With GFR Fund's attachment to Japan through GREE VR Capital, we know that there are many great startups in countries like China, Japan, South Korea, etc., who have difficulty securing investments from US investors. The same thing is true for European startups. Also, investors are becoming global. This is the reason why we decided to make this AR Pitch Event online, not offline, since both startups and investors can participate from anywhere in the world.
Finally, we believe that this is the right time for this event. With the launch of ARKit and ARCore at the end of last year, we are starting to see more and more amazing apps and products built on these platforms. This trend will most likely continue as the year 2018 progresses. In 2017, we saw a lot of AR startups who were building fundamental technology and tools. In 2018, we hope to see more consumer-facing AR products and would love to see the Global AR Online Pitch Event accelerate the whole movement and the industry.
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