Blockchain VR Platform High Fidelity Raises $35M Led By Novogratz’s Galaxy Digitalbr>
Novogratz’s firm invested $20 million into the funding round, which also drew support from new investors including Blockchain Capital. Existing investors also participated, including Breyer Capital, IDG Capital Partners and Vulcan Capital. The latest round brings total investment in High Fidelity to over $70 million. The funds will be used to expand research and development (R&D), accelerate hiring and open a new office in Seattle.
Based in San Francisco, High Fidelity distributes an open source, scalable platform to create 3D virtual worlds. Performers, educators, makers, entrepreneurs and brands can create and host their own social VR experiences. Visitors can take their avatar between virtual worlds with a consistent identity. High Fidelity ensures content rights and ownership with a federated digital asset registry based on blockchain, and powers an economy with its own cryptocurrency, High Fidelity Coin.
Over the coming decade, High Fidelity sees VR growing into an internet-scale phenomenon, reaching 1 billion people and generating a $1 trillion economy of virtual goods and services.
“We will go to school, attend events, entertain each other, and build entirely new worlds together, all from within VR,” said Philip Rosedale, CEO and founder of High Fidelity. “To reach this scale and to deliver safely on such a promise, VR must be decentralized, including deeply using blockchain technology. Galaxy Digital will guide us capably in adopting that technology and creating the right partnerships with the larger blockchain ecosystem, for example the EOS blockchain where we are currently beta testing integration.”
Galaxy Digital was announced and launched earlier this year by billionaire investor Michael Novogratz, who aims to turn the company into what he calls an institutional-quality merchant banking business in cryptocurrency and blockchain.
“Virtual reality may be the first killer app for blockchain,” said Sam Englebardt, a founding partner of Galaxy Digital Ventures, who joins the board of High Fidelity alongside the investment. “It’s a global phenomenon that fundamentally requires a trustless consensus mechanism for currency, property and identity. That’s what the new generation of blockchain protocols like EOS enable, and High Fidelity has the vision, team and open platform to lead the worldwide transition from atoms to bits.”
High Fidelity is the founding member of the Virtual Reality Blockchain Alliance (VRBA), which is defining the protocols for global interoperability in VR. The VRBA is a consortium of organizations working to enable people, their property and their money to move freely between virtual worlds. Current members include Admix, BLOCKv, JanusVR, Somnium Space and SVVR.