Vrse Gets Down to Business to Become Virtual Reality’s HBO, PBS and Pixar
By Eric Johnson
In one moment, I’m sitting at a desk in an office building in San Francisco. In the next, I’m in a Syrian refugee camp in Jordan. But I could just as easily be in the audience for “Saturday Night Live,” or in the middle of a lake about to be struck by a train floating above the water.
All three of these are scenes from some of the virtual reality films produced by Vrse, a buzzy Los Angeles-headquartered startup. The first high-end consumer VR headsets are heading to market in the coming months, and Vrse is trying to get out in front of content production and distribution for what it sees as a groundbreaking new medium.
To that end, it has hired former Rdio CEO Drew Larner as its COO and raised seed money from a diverse group of investors that includes Andreessen Horowitz, Live Nation, Vice Media and Annapurna Pictures.
The company’s goals include producing its own content through a studio arm, Vrse Works, as well as distributing its content and others’ through a dedicated app for VR devices simply known as Vrse.
“I don’t think we’re talking about movies anymore,” Vrse CEO Chris Milk said in an interview with Re/code. “What we’re talking about is the ultimate experiential medium, because it feels like real life. What is the most interesting thing that could have happened to you today? That’s a story.”