July 26, 2016
- To the fans: THANK YOU
- Raised a $2.5 million seed round from Raine Ventures, Courtside Ventures, Comcast Ventures Catalyst Fund, Social Capital, Outpost Capital, Boost VC, & Jason Rosenthal, CEO of Lytro.
- Bebylon Battle Royale is secretly more than a game…shhhh!
- We’re hiring! Our new office is right on the beach in LA
The Origin Story
We want to break from the typical seed round funding announcement convention and direct this post to all of our fans and people who’ve helped this two man team along this crazy VR journey. (Contrary to popular belief, K&L has been only two people full time this entire time 😉 )
Three years ago, we tried our Oculus DK1 headsets for the first time. We didn’t know it then but it was in that moment where we decided that we were going to work in VR for the rest of our lives. We spent the entire weekend discussing VR: how it was a cinematic medium for unbridled creativity, how we can meld magical interactivity moments, and how to create inventive storytelling.
The next two years were a blur of a blitz in the wild wild west of VR. There were a small smattering of us huddled in small meetups sprinkled all over LA. I kept thinking, this must be what it felt like to be part of the early days of the Homebrew Computer Club except now we would convene at small SVVR/VRLA meetups, on /r/oculus, and even IRC.
We spent this time nervously and excitingly burning through all of our savings while having some of the most fun and challenging times of our careers experimenting in VR: from pioneering stereoscopic live action with realtime CG to our fan favorite art house mini opera Senza Peso.
And because of the awesome appreciation we had from the VR community, we had clients like Lionsgate, GE, AMD, & NBC reach out to us to create VR advertisements. This let us keep the lights on while having complete creative control and a sole focus on creating amazing VR. But without the fans, we wouldn’t have been able to get to where we are today.
The Future: Raised $2.5 million funding
Looking to the future, we always said that we wanted Kite & Lightning to be a place that was the spiritual child of Valve & Pixar. And to help us achieve that, we found an amazing group of investors who have been following us from day 1, fully committed to VR and most importantly, believe in our long term creative vision of creating dazzlingly beautiful worlds driven by storytelling.
We’re happy to announce we’ve raised $2.5 million dollar seed round lead by Raine Ventures. Additional investors include Courtside Ventures, Comcast Ventures Catalyst Fund, Social Capital, Outpost Capital, Boost VC, & Jason Rosenthal, CEO of Lytro.
Bebylon Battle Royale: A Gentleman’s Game
So what are we doing now? We’ve been cranking away on Bebylon Battle Royale: A Gentleman’s Game. If you haven’t heard, BBRAG is a VR party brawler where you play as selfie stick wielding immortal babies beating up each other.
But we’ve been keeping a big secret about Bebylon under wraps since it’s inception:
We’re actually building an entire virtual world!
While the Smash Bros-esque game is the fundamental core of BBRAG, we always envisioned a world that you could immerse yourself in. We want to create this amazing comedic world where you can craft your own personal character, cheer/boo/support your friends as a live audience member in the gladiatorial stages, or explore the world of Bebylon, from the shows it has to offer to the characters that inhabit it.
Basically, we want to create a mini-Sword Art Online…except in comedy…with adorable narcissistic babies….who love trolling each other.
With the new funding, we’ve doubled our team size (from 2 to 4 :P) with some exceptionally talented folks and we’ll continue to be hiring. We’re looking for multidisciplinary contractors or full timers who love to wear a bunch of hats and work in a bunch of different areas: programming, game design, art, producing, etc. So if you’re interested in working in VR with some scarily creative & smart folks, email us at [email protected]. And, the nice perk is that our new LA office is going to be right on the beach.
We couldn’t be more excited about what’s to come and can’t wait for you guys to partake.
Finally, I want to give a big special thank you shout out to some people who have been crucially helpful to us over the years and especially during our fundraise process: Mark Linao from Technicolor, Jeffrey Greller from WME, Maureen Fan from BaoBab, Austin Clements from Ten One Ten, and Tom Sanocki from Limitless Entertainment.