Mixed reality start-up Curiscope raises $1m

Curiscope raises $1 million in seed funding to bring learning to life through augmented and virtual reality.

Mixed reality start-up Curiscope raised $1,000,000 (£771,000) in a seed round led by LocalGlobe.

Curiscope was founded in 2016 by co-founders, Ed Barton and Ben Kidd, to provide extraordinary learning experiences for people of all ages to explore the un-explorable through augmented and virtual reality. Most famously, the Brighton-based start-up created one of the most watched virtual reality experiences of all time, Great White Sharks, in 2016.

The funding round was led by LocalGlobe, the seed VC firm founded by Saul and Robin Klein. Other investors included Ascension Ventures, Force over Mass, ustwo Adventure and Richard Fearn.

The round builds upon a crowdfunding campaign for The Virtuali-Tee that raised $117,436 across Kickstarter and Indiegogo last year, and allows Curiscope to launch the product worldwide on the Curiscope website, Selfridges, and today, on Amazon.

“We founded Curiscope with a belief that we could leverage technology to unlock our curiosity for the world around us,” said CEO and co-founder Ed Barton. “Our recent funding round has enabled us to ship our first realisation of this idea, the Virtuali-Tee, a physical product designed to turn AR and learning about the body into something so much more.”

The Virtuali-Tee is a t-shirt, partnered with a free app, which 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. The experience can be enjoyed with others or alone through the ‘selfie mode’.

The Virtuali-Tee has now been purchased by customers in over 60 countries and the accompanying app is available for free on iOS and Android to download for phones and tablets. The t-shirt is priced at £25 ($29).

“Led by LocalGlobe, with additional backing from a number of other investors and firms for whom I have great respect, the recent investment has provided us with much more than just capital: their experience, expertise and network is second-to-none, and we’re grateful to have them on this journey with us,” Barton added.

“The investment will allow us to grow fast and at scale, reacting to new advancements such as iOS 11 and its implications for AR. We’ve been working hard over the Summer and we are excited to reveal what’s coming next for us later this year.”

Praseeda Nair

Praseeda Nair

Praseeda was Editor for GrowthBusiness.co.uk from 2016 to 2018.

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