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18 start-ups selected for HTC's Vive X accelerator program

2018/11/16 19:41:28

Taipei, Nov. 16 (CNA) A total of 18 start-ups from around the world have been selected for the Vive X accelerator program of Taiwan-based smartphone brand HTC Corp., which has intensified its efforts in virtual reality development by launching its first VR headset, the Vive.

The 18 start-ups, the fourth batch of new companies, will join HTC's Vive X accelerator program in its offices located in San Francisco, London, Taipei, Shenzhen, Beijing and Tel Aviv as part of the company's efforts to build a global supply chain for its VR operations.

HTC said that Visby, Primitive, Modal, ybVR and MyndVR will join the San Francisco office, and Immersive Factory, LIV and KageNova will join the London office, and 360Stories, Z-Emotion and Pumpkin Studio will join the Taipei office.

In addition, Inload, Yaoan, ifGames, Shiny VR and Yuanji will join the Shenzhen office, and and Ayayu Games will join the Tel Aviv studio, according to HTC.

The Vive X accelerator program kicked off in July 2016, serving as a vehicle for HTC to invest in about 100 start-ups worldwide in the development of VR as well as augmented reality.

Under the program, the selected companies will be given access to major opportunities such as investment from venture capital firms, expert advice on development and mentorship from experienced VR professionals, and other networking and support benefits, as part of efforts to develop a global VR and AV ecosystem, according to HTC.

"As we head into our fourth batch of Vive X companies, we're looking toward mass market drivers in the consumer space, but also placing a large emphasis on how companies integrate VR into their work," HTC Vive Vice President Marc Metis said in a statement.

"We have selected companies in this batch that will help deliver on that promise and elevate the enterprise experience by developing toolsets that train employees, increase workplace safety and improve collaboration and customer acquisition," Metis said.

The HTC Vive is one of HTC's gambits to diversify away from its core smartphone market, which is saturated and intensely competitive, in the hope of creating an additional revenue source and turning its business around.

However, the VR operations only account for a small fraction of HTC's revenue and have failed to boost the company's bottom line.

HTC posted a net loss of NT$2.62 billion (US$84.82 million) and loss per share of NT$3.18 in the third quarter of this year, both worse than the NT$2.09 billion in net loss and NT$2.53 in loss per share seen a quarter earlier.

While HTC continued to suffer a net loss in the third quarter, it posted NT$20.01 in earnings per share for the first nine months of the year because of the big one-time profit it made in the first quarter on a US$1 billion sale of its smartphone ODM assets to Google.

(By Jiang Ming-yan and Frances Huang)