Tech Crunch – ManageXR grabs $4 million seed round to scale XR business
ManageXR announced today it has raised a $4 million seed round led by Rally Ventures, with venture partner and previous lead angel investor Jay Borenstein joining the company’s board of directors.
With the latest funding, ManageXR will support its expanding team and go-to-market strategy as the company has experienced rapid growth since becoming available to beta users in November 2019 and officially launching in April 2021. The startup will continue to look for ways to expand its partner network of hardware and software companies across the globe, Luke Wilson, founder and CEO of ManageXR told TechCrunch. The company will focus more on large enterprises next year, he added.
ManageXR built an enterprise device management platform designed for VR and AR devices to serve as the core infrastructure for organizations. Its platform looks to scale enterprises’ XR deployments, enabling them to control remotely every aspect of their XR device fleet, including distributing apps and files, customizing the home screen user experience, tracking device health and usage, and more.
“Device management solutions have been around for years, but until recently, there hasn’t been a viable option for VR and AR devices. We’re solving that problem for businesses at an inflection point in the industry,” Wilson said.
Manage XR has facilitated more than 200,000 sessions to date across thousands of VR and AR devices used by small, midsize, and enterprise companies, including XRHealth and Brink’s. The company also recently partnered with Pico Interactive, a VR and AR hardware manufacturer, to preload ManageXR on all Pico devices in the U.S.
“We see a growing trend in companies delivering XR to their employees at a very large scale, evidenced by Accenture’s latest deployment of 60,000 headsets. These organizations are using XR to onboard, train, and upskill employees, as well as unlock new workflow, using the metaverse as a new place to communicate, collaborate, and get work done,” Willson said. “Device management is not a new concept to these corporations, and they understand how crucial this type of infrastructure is to ensure technology can be used in a scalable and secure way.”
Wilson founded ManageXR in 2018 with the intention of building VR experiences for pediatric patients in the hospital. At the time, the company had to develop its own rudimentary device management platform to deliver its content in the healthcare environments, Wilson told TechCrunch. In late 2019, the company realized that every other company, like ManageXR, would have to solve the same problems on its own, so it pivoted to focus solely on ManageXR in early 2020. Its team understands the challenges of using XR at scale on a deep, personal level, and it’s made a huge difference in how they operate the company, Wilson said.
Its competitors include incumbent mobile device management companies, which build similar tools for mobile phones and laptops, and some device manufacturers. However, XR is a nascent and fast-moving market with different requirements that these companies are not equipped to handle, Wilson continued.
“These hardware manufacturers have created their own rudimentary device management systems, but they consistently miss the mark in terms of functionality and usability. These OEM management systems also force their users to only use one manufacturer’s hardware, which prevents customers from using the wide variety of hardware on the market,” Wilson said.
Its customers pay a monthly or annual fee per device, Wilson noted. Depending on the product tier, the licenses cost $7-$10 per device per month. Its premium product tier, which costs monthly $10 per device, is by far the company’s most popular offering.
“Between the recent investments in the space from the largest tech giants and businesses now using VR and AR for everything from employee training to patient care to sales enablement, extended reality in the enterprise is at the cusp of mass adoption and we’re thrilled to have Rally Ventures join us for the ride,” Wilson said.
“XR is set to fundamentally change how we conduct business, collaborate, and experience the world in our professional and personal lives, but as adoption increases, so do the challenges that businesses face in successfully implementing their programs,” said Jay Borenstein, venture partner at Rally Ventures. “I am very excited to support Luke and his growing team as they accelerate how corporations can manage and benefit from XR devices at scale and ultimately bring enterprise-wide XR to the mainstream.”