Founded in 2007, Gumi is listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange (TSE) and has overseas operations in France, Korea, Singapore, Taiwan and the United States.
The chief executive of Gumi Inc, Hironao Kunimitsu, said, “Its (Playsnak) focus on creating first-class VR experiences fits perfectly with our own portfolio of products and ambitions to break new ground for gamers, and we believe this strategic partnership opens the door to exciting opportunities for both parties.”
This investment completes its initial seed funding round with a total of $2.5 million from backers, including an investment of $1.3 million from South Korea’s K Cube Ventures last year.
Playsnak, founded in 2015 with offices in Berlin and Los Angeles, will leverage the funding for its development pipeline.
Gumi Inc. said the investment reflected both the scale of its global ambitions and Playsnak’s early promise in the VR spaces.
Japan possesses a foundation for AR/VR to grow, with the domain an area of interest for Japanese developers. April 2016 saw GREE launch a $12 million fund for VR investments in April 2016.
Media players are increasingly investing in the space, with 2014 seeing seven deals to AR/VR startups by media firms, This increased to 16 deals in 2015 and grew 137 per cent to 38 equity deals in 2016.
While there is a significant long-term upside, the AR/VR investment space is still undergoing maturation. Data from Digi-Capital indicates that 2016 saw $2.3 billion in AR/VR investments.
According to data from IDC research, total revenue for the AR/VR sector is forecast to increase from $5.2 billion in 2016 to over $162 billion in 2020, with more than half coming from hardware sales. Additionally, service revenues are projected to increase over the period as demand grows for enterprise-class support.