Virtual reality startup AmazeVR now has $17 million to further expand its VR concert experience.
The West Hollywood-based company’s latest funding amounts to a bet that virtual shows, a staple of the pandemic, are here to stay. Mirae Asset Capital led the Series B funding round, with Mirae Asset Financial Group subsidiary (Mirae Asset Venture Investment), CJ Investment, Smilegate Investment, GS Futures and LG Technology Ventures investing again. Mobile game maker Krafton joined the group—but South Korean entertainment company CJ ENM’s stake reveals AmazeVR’s plans to expand into K-pop world.
AmazeVR intends to use the cash infusion to hire more engineers and visual effects artists and to fill out its content offerings. The money will also help the company bolster its artist roster—which already includes Megan Thee Stallion—and produce more virtual concerts.
CJ ENM has certainly made a name for itself through a broad range of content. Forming K-pop groups and producing K-dramas, the company also oversees music TV channels, award shows and fan conventions. Previously, CJ ENM launched a company with K-pop phenomenon BTS’ label to foster new music talent.
Even as in-person concerts come back, their virtual counterparts have permeated pop culture. Even award shows have started to recognize the burgeoning performance method. In August, the MTV Video Music Award introduced the Best Metaverse Performance, which K-pop girl group Blackpink won.
Technology has helped many K-pop groups explode in popularity, with bands amassing very passionate international audiences through social media platforms. SM Entertainment, the media company behind groups like EXO and Red Velvet, launched a streaming platform to host virtual concerts and interviews with its talent roster. BTS’ online show in June brought in 1.3 million viewers—a slight increase from its 2020 virtual production.
This isn’t AmazeVR’s first time exploring the K-pop space. In July, it partnered with SM Entertainment to produce concerts for its talent roster through Seoul-based Studio A.
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