Why the founder of HTC Vive is investing in dozens of VR begin-ups that go way outside of leisure


Irrespective of Facebook’s $2 billion guess on Oculus and virtual fact merchandise from Samsung, Sony and Google, VR has not gone mainstream.

But the founder of HTC’s Vive headset organization is much more bullish than ever.

Phil Chen left HTC in 2015 and is now a companion at Li Ka-Shing’s Horizons Ventures and the co-founder of a VR-targeted fund named Presence Capital in China. In 2016, Existence was the most energetic trader in digital and augmented actuality (AR) start out-ups, in accordance to CB Insights knowledge.

Chen isn’t at all bothered that buyer VR has sputtered out of the gate.

“The form component is not there nevertheless,” Chen reported. “The programs have been large, cumbersome, deliver much too significantly warmth, all of that. There was the hoopla and then a trough, which we envisioned.”

Existence has made 40 investments, with the past 20 going to VR and AR commence-ups that are pursuing chances in parts like wellness, education and corporate training. These start out-ups are building dollars and increasing adhere to-on rounds of funding properly, Chen said.

The Presence portfolio involves Strivr Labs, a corporation assisting pro athletes and retail employees at Walmart experience scenarios in a digital planet in advance of they have to have to make a perform on the subject or a tough choice at their retail store.