Amid Slow VR Growth, Virtual Hangouts Startup AltspaceVR to Shut Down

Despite advances in virtual reality technology and plenty of hype, the medium has yet to take off in the way its advocates envision.

The latest reminder is the demise of AltspaceVR, a Redwood City, CA-based startup that hosts social experiences in virtual venues. The four-year-old company announced in a blog post Friday that it will shut down on Aug. 3.

“The company has run into unforeseen financial difficulty and we can’t afford to keep the virtual lights on anymore,” the company wrote in the post.

AltspaceVR raised $15.7 million from investors, according to its website. Its backers include Comcast Ventures, Tencent, Lux Capital, Dolby Family Ventures, and Google’s venture capital arm. The company said it last raised capital in 2015.

“It looked like we had a deal for our next round of funding, and it fell through,” AltspaceVR wrote in the blog post. “Some combination of this deal falling through and the general slowness of VR market growth made most of our investors reluctant to fund us further. We’ve been out fundraising but have run out of time and money.”

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