Curiscope, a U.K. augmented and virtual reality content startup, has raised a $1 million seed round led by LocalGlobe, the seed VC firm founded by Saul and Robin Klein. Ascension Ventures, Force over Mass, ustwo Adventure, and Richard Fearn also participated.
The backing follows crowdfunding campaigns on Kickstarter and Indiegogo last year for the company’s The Virtuali-Tee product, an augmented reality experience that combines a t-shirt and app to let you explore part of the human body. Curiscope other’s product out in the wild is a virtual reality experience called Great White Sharks.
Specifically, The Virtuali-Tee is described as a high-quality t-shirt, partnered with a free app, that enables children and adults to discover the human body in fully animated 3D using immersive augmented and virtual reality.
“The t-shirt’s unique design is picked up by the camera function on the app, allowing users to jump into the pumping heart to bring learning to life, or pop their phone into a Google Cardboard to immerse themselves entirely in an anatomical adventure,” explains the Brighton-based company. It adds that the experience can be enjoyed with others or alone through a “selfie mode”.
In a brief call yesterday with CEO Ed Barton, who founded Curiscope with Ben Kidd, he described the company’s broader mission as wanting to build something akin to Discovery Channel but for AR and VR.
Right now, he concedes, the technology is quite nascent and content often lacking, but that is exactly the opportunity the startup wants to grasp — both by building its own consumer augmented and virtual reality products or by partnering with brands to do the same.
Barton says that the investment will be used by Curiscope for growth and to take advantage of new advancements in the space. This, of course, includes iOS 11 and its implications for AR, alongside Android’s recently rejiggered equivalent.
Meanwhile, George Henry, Partner at LocalGlobe, says that whilst the adoption of augmented and virtual reality is still at a very early stage, the seed-stage VC firm believes that Curiscope is “building market-leading experiences”.