Viewpoints: December 2023 wrap-up

How VR grew over Christmas + Find Out What We are Investing in 2024

Welcome to this month’s curated digest of viewpoints, news and investment activity covering the Metaverse, XR and Spatial Computing - brought to you by FOV Ventures.

Happy New Year! We are excited about the year ahead… but first, here is a quick look back at December, and how we’re setting up for the new year.

There is a lot of momentum in our industry right now - fuelled by a festive boost, not to mention a certain headset releasing in Q1 2024.

In December we made FIVE investments and, to round out the year with another deep dive, FOV’s Entrepreneur-In-Residence, Tiago Correira, broke down Immersive Education here - an important topic with the Generative AI genie well and truly out the bottle.

Stay put for FOV and industry news, and stick around to the end to see the data on VR’s crazy Christmas.

Dave Haynes, Petri Rajahalme and Sointu Karjalainen (FOV Ventures)

FOV News:

We made FIVE investments in December. We will be announcing these in the coming weeks both here and on our LinkedIn, so make sure you are following us there.

There is no slowing down for us in 2024 as we look to continue deploying capital across the Metaverse, XR and Spatial Computing. So if you are a startup about to start raising we’d be stoked to hear from you.

Register and Save The Date - We will be LIVE on LinkedIn discussing What’s next for AR/VR in 2024. We will be joined by VR/AR Veteran, Tom Emrich, on Monday Jan 15th, 6PM UK Time.

Called the “Man from the Future”, Tom Emrich is a LEGEND in the world of VR/AR and wearables, working in the space since 2009 for companies like 8th Wall, TechStars, AWE and now, Niantic.

Tom’s yearly predictions are often on the money so we are excited to share his predictions for 2024 with you all, on Monday!

2024 Outlook

For Founders and Investors, we break down the 10 Things We Will be Watching (and investing in!) in 2024.

If you are working on a startup, or investing yourself across any of these themes let us know.

These trends span a variety of sectors including AI, gaming, spatial computing, VR, and the merging of digital and physical worlds.

Immersive Education

Tiago Correia, our Entrepreneur-In-Residence, goes deep on Education, one of the areas we are particularly interested in. The landscape of education has been relatively unchanged for 100 years, and the dawn of AI and Spatial Computing have opened up significant opportunities for disruption.

We are making two investments in this space to be announced in the coming months.

Portfolio News:

Our Portfolio is Hiring:

‘Tis the Season for VR 🎅

As in previous years, the iOS app Meta Quest made it to the top of the most downloaded free apps in the App Store for Christmas and stayed there for several days. The Meta Quest app is used to setup the Quest - so downloads act as a pretty good proxy for new headset usage metrics.

The price of Quest 2 was reduced to $250 before Christmas compared to the Quest 3 at $500. In turn, Amazon’s November sales figures suggested that Quest 2 was selling about twice as well as Quest 3 - a respectable ratio given the price difference. And during UK's Black Friday, VR had its strongest revenue week yet (source).

These purchases likely translated into headsets-under-trees, onboarding thousands of new users to VR. At least 400,000 have tried Quest 3 exclusive mixed reality demo, First Encounters. Depending on how many users actually tried the app, the actual number of Quest 3s in the wild could be higher!

Since Quest 3’s launch, Games like Brink Traveler has seen a fourfold increase in new daily users, and this increased tenfold over Christmas. The user spike was even bigger than last Christmas.

There was a similar Santa spike for Gorilla Tag, currently the most played VR game, which reached more than 90,000 concurrent users over Christmas, 2.5 times more than before.

How sticky these experiences are over the long term will be the key, but the early signs look good, and we will get more concrete evidence at the next Meta quarterly earnings report.

FWIW, Gorilla Tag had 760K+ players on Christmas Day last year, then reached 2.3 million monthly active users, and as of January 2023 had already earned $26M in revenue from in-app purchases.

To add even more fuel to the VR fire - Apple announced the Vision Pro release date will be February 2nd (pre-order Jan 19th). However these dates are only for the U.S.; release dates in other countries have not been announced.

They are also turning on the hype machine, turning to pop culture for their first official Vision Pro ad… see below!

2024 Event Calendar:

Straight back into it the events are starting up again. Let us know what events you are attending this year.

And that’s everything! We hope to see you soon!

Dave Haynes, Petri Rajahalme and Sointu Karjalainen (FOV Ventures)