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AltspaceVR lays off staff as social VR platform readies for closure

The startup behind the virtual reality social space says slow VR market growth and sudden financial woes are to blame for the imminent closure.

After launching the social virtual reality platform AltspaceVR just over a year ago, the startup of the same name is discontinuing the virtual social space and laying off its staff of 40 following unexpected financial woes.

In a blog post detailing the coming closure, an AltspaceVR spokesperson explained that VR’s slow market growth has discouraged its past investors from infusing additional funds into the company.

This, combined with a funding deal that recently fell though, brought about the decision to shut down the VR social space. 

"We’re a venture-backed startup. We had a supportive group of investors that last gave us money in 2015. It looked like we had a deal for our next round of funding, and it fell through," explains the 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."

While the blog post notes that the future of AltspaceVR as a company has yet to be decided, a company representative told Variety that July 31 is set to be the last day for AltSpaceVR’s 40 or so employees.

AltspaceVR is holding a final event inside its virtual space on August 3, and will officially shut down the service following that. Developers that have created an SDK app for the platform will have access to the AltspaceVR SDK Slack until that same date, while its open source repositories will be kept open as long as possible.

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