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Eye-tracking VR headset maker Fove nets $11M in fresh investment

Tokyo-based startup Fove has raised $11 million in a Series A funding round, and it intends to pour those millions into development and production of its eponymous Fove eye-tracking VR headset.

Tokyo-based startup Fove announced this week it raised $11 million in a Series A funding round, and it intends to pour those millions into development and production of its eponymous Fove eye-tracking VR headset.

This is chiefly interesting because it shows there's still a lot of money coursing through the VR industry, four years after Oculus kicked off the latest VR craze with its 2012 Kickstarter for the Rift -- the consumer version of which will begin shipping next week.

In 2014 Fove also ran a successful Kickstarter for its eye-tracking VR headset, and said it would start shipping dev kits to backers this spring. 

Last month the company said those shipments would be delayed into the fall due to some "very difficult problems" that include mass production hiccups (i.e. difficulty sourcing the right parts) and making good on a promise to integrate Valve's "Lighthouse" room-scale positional tracking sensors with the Fove devkits.

Fove intends to spend its newfound investment on solving those problems by, among other things, developing its own positional tracking system (and dropping Lighthouse support, for now.)

The leading investor in Fove's latest round of funding, incidentally, was the Colopl VR Fund. The $50 million fund is overseen by Colopl Next, the investment arm of Japanese mobile game giant Colopl, and Next chief Shintaro Yamakami told Gamasutra earlier this year that "consumer excitement [in VR] here has been growing and I believe it will only speed up once other devices like Oculus Rift and PlayStation VR become publicly available."

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