There is a growing interest in VR from the general public. The Oculus Rift, the HTC Vive, and the PS VR all repeatedly sold out in 2016, minutes after they were made accessible online. The very definition of VR has expanded to include 360 video. Platforms like YouTube and Facebook and low-end hardware like Google Card Cardboard are driving the proliferation of both user-generated and branded content. VR funding is growing, and going global. Swiss startup Mindmaze was the first VR company to raise more than $100M in a VC round in February 2016, from Indian group Hinduja. VR has become a go-to destination for large corporate players. Both software and hardware companies such as Facebook, Google, Acer, HTC, and more are getting increasingly involved through either investments, product launches, or partnerships with startups. With hardware penetration increasing, quality content might become a bottleneck in the near future. Both the distribution platforms and the hardware manufacturers are fighting to build a loyal base of content creators. Entertainment today is driving the growth of VR. Content studios like The Virtual Reality Company are drawing large amounts of money, while VR arcades offer new distribution opportunities for both the manufacturers and the developers. VR is booming in China, focusing on hardware, mobile and entertainment. Players like Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent turn to VR to drive their existing video and e-commerce businesses; meanwhile, entertainment companies are striking large deals with US startups.

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