China: Hony, Poly Capital form JV with Digital Domain for VR theatres

Private equity firms Hony Capital and Poly Capital have partnered with Digital Domain Holdings, a Hong Kong-listed visual effects and virtual reality (VR) technology developer, to form a joint venture for setting up VR theaters in China.

The JV, Digital Domain Space, will specialise in the research and development of VR technology, content creation and distribution, and will introduce a brand-new business model for VR experiences, Digital Domain said in a statement

Financial terms of the JV were, however, not disclosed.

The Digital Domain Space’s VR theaters will be installed inside and outside the cinemas. While waiting for movies to start, consumers can take a virtual tour of the latest VR technology. Leveraging on the influence and scale of its brand, store location and consumer volume, the JV will also aid product and advertising placement to provide additional and diversified business opportunities, it said.

Daniel Seah, Executive Director and CEO of Digital Domain, said, “The upcoming grand opening of VR theaters indicates Digital Domain is progressively building and expanding the VR industry, especially from online to offline, direct consumer platforms.”

“Digital Domain is already renowned for creating breathtaking Hollywood special effects. This knowledge and existing resources will be extremely useful in the collaboration. Along with the brands’ collective strengths and capabilities, this will bring new ideas and innovation to the VR industry,” he added.

In addition to Digital Domain’s signature series, Monkey King, Micro Giant and Legend of the Naga Pearls, Digital Domain Space’s VR theaters will also provide its partners with VR content and games, presenting consumers with an incredibly wide range VR options.

“This collaboration with Digital Domain is simply a first step to our future VR journey. In the future, we look forward to collaborating with Digital Domain on other aspects such as provision of high-quality cinema equipment and supplies, in order to make use of collective strengths and resources to create a win-win situation,” Li Wenxuan, Chief Investment Officer of Poly Capital, said.

Digital Domain has offices in Los AngelesVancouverBeijingShanghaiTaipei and Hong Kong.