A new independent company founded by entertainment industry virtual reality veterans has launched with the goal of using the limitless potential of virtual and mixed reality to transform almost every aspect of everyday life. Based in Santa Monica, California, SPACES has raised $3 million in initial funding, led by Comcast Ventures.
The shop is founded by CEO Shiraz Akmal and CTO Brad Herman, who played a key role in creating DreamWorks Animation’s VR experiences through 2015. They lead a team that has a wide-ranging background in filmmaking, video games and theme parks, including executive creative director Dean Orion, who has written for TV and created interactive, location-based attractions for DreamWorks Animation and Walt Disney Imagineering.
SPACES is already working with companies like Microsoft, NBCUniversal, Big Blue Bubble and The Hetterna Group to develop and produce a range of VR and MxR projects across all platforms and technologies — including Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, Microsoft HoloLens, Samsung Gear VR, PlayStation VR and Google Cardboard.
The $3 million initial funding was lead by Comcast Ventures and also included Boost VC, Canyon Creek Capital, Colopl VR Fund, GREE Inc., Kai Huang, The Venture Reality Fund, the Sinovation Fund and Youku Global Media Fund and CRCM VC.
SPACES has also assembled a global advisory board that includes Dan Offner, attorney, angel investor and former general counsel for Oculus; Keith Boesky, former president of Eidos Interactive and the principal of Boesky & Company; and Indian film actor and entrepreneur Rana Daggubati, star of Baahubali: The Beginning, the highest-grossing film in India’s history.