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Jaunt Logo
Jaunt Logo

Jaunt is a Palo Alto, CA-headquartered company that specializes in virtual reality (VR). Jaunt was founded in 2013 and its mission is to bring premium VR experiences to the world through distribution/production of content, products (e.g. cameras), and VR Technology (e.g. software). [1] [2]

History


Jaunt was founded in 2013 by Jens Christensen (current CEO), Arthur van Hoff (current CTO), and Tom Annau (who desired to relive a National Park Vacation experience and believed immersive video was a vehicle for doing so). [3] [4] The founders worked with Anthony Shore at branding and design agency Character to develop the company name of Jaunt. [5]

In the spring of 2015, the company launched Jaunt Studios, described by technology news and media network "The Verge as "dedicated solely to developing and producing live-action VR experiences" and, similar to what was announced by Oculus (another VR company) earlier in the year: "an in-house creative initiative, designed to both bolster the production of VR experiences from existing artists, but also to interact with the broader Hollywood creative community to bring new filmmakers into the fold." [7] Cliff Plumer, David Anderman, and Miles Perkins, all formerly employed by Lucasfilm, were brought on as President, (CBO), and Vice President of Marketing, respectively. [8] [9]

Products


In June 2015, Jaunt announced that a professional-grade VR camera series would be available that August.

Collaborations


In June 2015, a Road to VR article noted that "Jaunt has risen to become one of the most prolific of 360 degree, cinematic VR content providers over the last couple of years, with a dozen or so experiences available across multiple VR platforms, from Oculus Rift to Google Cardboard." [1]

Awards and recognitions


September 2015: The Advanced Imaging Society (AIS) included Jaunt as one of the annual honorees for achievement in technical advancement.

February 2016: Jaunt was included on American business magazine Fast Company's list of The World's 50 Most Innovative Companies 2016. Jaunt was recognized by Fast Company"for becoming the first VR media company"[2]

March 2016: Jaunt was included on Inc. Magazine's list of 6 Innovative Startups Reshaping Hollywood. [3]

Investors, funding and advisors


British Sky Broadcasting Group (BSkyB) became one of Jaunt's initial investors in December 2013. [3] Other early investors, announced in April 2014, included Redpoint Ventures, [3] SV Angel, Peter Gotcher (chairman of Dolby Laboratories, and Blake Krikorian (co-founder of Sling Media). This seed round of funding yielded $6.8 million. [3] [3] In August 2014, Jaunt announced it had raised $27.8 million in new funding. Investors in this round included the existing investors as well as new investors Highland Capital Partners and GV (formerly Google Ventures). Jaunt CEO Jens Christensen indicated the funds would be used for company growth and increasing speed of its technology development. [3]

Jaunt announced an additional $65 million in funding in September 2015.

Partly because of the company's early stake in VR, it has forged collaborations with organizations and individuals across multiple industries.

Tim Haley (Redpoint Ventures, also on the boards for Netflix); [4] Peter Gotcher (Dolby); [4] Paul Maeder (Highland Capital Partners); [4] Kevin Mayer (The Walt Disney Company); [4] Richard Hess (Evolution Media Capital); [4] Li Ruigang (China Media Capital); [4] John Ryley (Sky News) [4]

Babak Parviz (Amazon; [4] Bernd Girod (Stanford); [4] Blake Krikorian (id8 Group Holdings, Sling Media); [4] Brad Wechsler IMAX Corporation; [5] Fred Kittler (Firelake Capital); [5] Harlyn Baker (Computer Vision Pioneer); [5] Jared Leto (Award-winning Artist and Musician); [5] Mark Romanek (Award-winning Film Director); [5] Mark Ross (Striiv); [5] Ted Schilowitz (RED camera); [5] Brian Grazer (Oscar and Emmy-winning Producer, Best-selling Author) [5]

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