Playsnak raises $1.2m more from Japan’s Gumi to close seed round at $2.5m

Virtual Reality | Photo: Bloomberg

Virtual reality (VR) gaming startup Playsnak has closed an additional $1.2 million seed investment from a Japan-based global publisher and developer Gumi Inc.

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.

Also Read:

Softbank Group leads $502m Series B in VR startup Improbable Worlds

Ex-Xiaomi exec Hugo Barra joins Facebook to lead virtual reality business

GREE launches $12m fund targeted at virtual reality content startups

China’s Baidu opens augmented reality lab to boost waning profits

Snapchat buying Israeli augmented reality startup Cimagine

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.