Matterport Captures $30M To Scan Rooms Into Virtual Reality

Matterport Captures $30M To Scan Rooms Into Virtual Reality

This $4500 camera turns the real world into the virtual one.

Today, Matterport’s hardware is a hit with real estate agents. But fueled by the $30 million Series C it just raised, Matterport’s software and partnership with Google’s Project Tango could let you wave your phone around to create VR tours of anywhere you want.

For example, here’s Matterport’s VR version of a San Francisco art gallery I work with called The Sub.

It used to take a $50,000 rig to do that until Matterport democratized capturing interior spaces for VR. It’s sold thousands of its cameras that have generated tens of thousands of virtual scenes explored by over 1.2 million unique viewers per month. CEO Bill Brown tells me “We could very easily make this a cash flow positive business based on our revenue today.”

Instead, Matterport wants to be more than a camera company. Its investing its new round into becoming the software layer that stitches images together into VR. That business is poised to explode once smartphones can serve as the cameras and source images flood in.

You can watch our quick demo of Matterport’s camera and software, plus an interview with its founder and CEO above.

Matterport spawned out of the Xbox Kinect hacker scene in 2010. Founder Matt Bell had been working for a gesture recognition company that relied on a $50,000 camera and expert operators to produce a huge CAD file that could only be accessed through a specialized application. Bell was flabbergasted by the power of the $150 Kinect. He realized the potential for a relatively cheap device with similar technology that could let anyone map out rooms to create 3D models accessible straight from the web.

 Bell teamed with David Gausebeck, who devised the first commercial CAPTCHA security system at PayPal. The team plowed through Y Combinator and raised a $1.6 million seed in 2012 from DCM, a $5.6 million A from Rothenberg Ventures, BoxGroup, and Greylock, plus $2.8 million more from Sling Media CEO Blake Krikorian and Crate & Barrel founder Gordon Segal. 

A year ago, Matterport got serious about the commercial market, and raised a $16 million Series B to chase the real estate vertical. Along with courting agents, Matterport targeted the companies that help real estate workers photograph properties.

Source: http://techcrunch.com/2015/06/25/matterport/#.bc8mvj:dXur

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