Belfast’s SideQuest raises $3m for its VR developer platform

4 days ago

Image: © Yingyaipumi/Stock.adobe.com

The platform, which has been backed by the founder of Oculus VR, has more than 1m monthly active users.

SideQuest, a Belfast-headquartered start-up developing a platform for VR developers, has raised $3m in seed funding.

First reported by Upload VR, the fresh funding adds to a $650,000 pre-seed investment raised last year. In that round, the company received backing from California-based Boost VC and Oculus VR founder Palmer Luckey.

SideQuest provides a platform where developers can upload content ahead of public release. This means developers have space to validate their work and start building communities, while players have access to content that it not yet available on the Oculus Store.

“We started SideQuest in 2019 with the goal of helping developers share their content to grow an early community and get essential feedback,” tweeted co-founder and COO Orla Harris in response to the latest funding news.

“That’s still the plan. Thank you to our supporters.”

Harris founded the business with husband Shane Harris and the duo’s platform now has more than 1m monthly active users.

She told the Irish Times that the new financing will be used to continue developing the SideQuest platform and driving engagement in the VR community.

The funding round was led by London-based ProFounders, with participation from Ada Ventures, Connect Ventures, Ascension and angel investors.

VR is an area that is growing and attracting investor attention. Facebook has bought several VR game studios in recent years and, according to ABI Research, the AR and VR market recorded more than $2bn in total investment in 2020 including company funding and M&A deals.

One of the big players in the VR space in Ireland is VR Education, which recently changed its name to Engage XR. Earlier this year, it raised €9m in a share placing to build a “metaverse for business” in VR, expanding its focus from education and training to enterprise services.

Don’t miss out on the knowledge you need to succeed. Sign up for the Daily Brief, Silicon Republic’s digest of need-to-know sci-tech news.

Sarah Harford is sub-editor of Silicon Republic

editorial@siliconrepublic.com