Virtual reality solutions startup SmartVizX has raised over $500,000 (around Rs 3.4 crore) from Indian Angel Network (IAN) and Stanford Angels and Entrepreneurs India (SA&E India).
The round was led by IAN founder Saurabh Srivastava, IAN co-founder Mohit Goyal, and Ajay Lavakare. Lavakare, who is an IAN member and co-president of SA&E India, will also join the board of SmartVizX.
The capital raised will be used to expand its R&D capability and to launch a Bangalore centre. The funds will also be used to ramp up the team, and hire a new R&D head and a chief technology officer.
"The concept of virtual reality application for business is itself is a disruptive idea. The unique mix of architects and game developers at SmartVizX with the strategic expertise which the founders bring to the table makes us confident that they will be able to transform their vision into reality," said Srivastava in a statement.
Founded in 2015 by Gautam Tewari and Tithi Tewari, SmartVizX Pvt Ltd builds immersive technology solutions using virtual reality to enhance consumer experiences and influence decision making for real estate and other industries. Gautam Tewari holds a masters' degree in construction management from UNSW Australia and is a LEED accredited professional. Tithi Tewari holds a bachelor's degree in architecture from CEPT Ahmedabad, and has completed programmes in LEAP (Leadership Excellence through Achievement and Practice) from INSEAD and MPSFI (Managing Professional Service Firms in India) from Harvard Business School.
The virtual reality market is expected touch $150 billion by 2020 with multiple levels of functionality across sectors. With virtual reality hardware companies such as Oculus Rift and HTC Vive releasing their consumer version kits, the demand for VR driven content will grow exponentially.
The key focus areas for the company over the next six months will remain the real estate sector and architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) industries but it will also explore new avenues such as listing portals, e-commerce, and the furniture industry, SmartVizX said in a statement.
The company plans to build more virtualisation tools in addition to testing new methods of engagement through this immersive technology.
SmartVizX has worked with brands such as Rockworth, Quikr, PNB Metlife and Developer Group.
"Our vision is to enable VR supported processes and decision making in business," said Gautam Tewari.
SmartVizX is the first virtual reality startup that IAN and SA&E India have invested in. This is also the second investment by SA&E in India.