Tyffon raises $7.8m to take location-based VR centres to US

Disney-backed VR company Tyffon has raised $7.8 million to expand its location-based, ‘free roam’ virtual reality locations from Japan to the US.

The company will use the money for an international expansion that includes a new VR centre in Santa Monica, California.

“We enthusiastically welcome our new strategic investments and look forward to expanding our innovative and impactful Tyffonium immersive experiences beyond Japan, to audiences in the US, and later in other territories around the world,” said Tyffon CEO Ken Fukazawa.

“We are gratified at the tremendous pedigree of our investors who have placed their faith and trust in us.  They represent some of the leading media, entertainment and technology innovators and creative forces in the world.

“We at Tyffon are committed to honoring that creative legacy and creating and sharing the highest quality and most innovative immersive experiences in the world.”

Tyffon’s new funding round is being led by Tokyo Broadcasting System (TBS), and brings the total amount raised by the company to $12 million.

Existing investors include SEGA SAMMY Holdings, The Walt Disney Company, Mizuho Capital, Tokyu Recreation, and Canal Ventures.

Tyffon currently has two VR centres, called Tyffonium, in Tokyo. The company is planning to open another Tyffonium in Tokyo this year, and also hopes to open the California venue this year.

A graduate of the Disney Accelerator programme, Tyffon will use the funds on new Tyffoniums and to expand its global team.

Tyffon also plans to work even more closely with US media and entertainment companies to bring their content, characters, franchises and intellectual property to life.

Magic, occult and horror in VR

Last month, Tyffon launched Tarot VR: Voyage of Reverie, now open at the company’s flagship Odaiba location.

As well as Tarot VR, Tyffon currently has two more experiences on offer – Corridor and Fluctus. In Corridor, players can explore an old, abandoned house and its terrifying occupants, while Fluctus invites gamers to sail a ghost shop through a fantasy parallel universe.

Corridor is reportedly so scary that 1 out of every in 100 participants are too afraid to complete the experience.

Tech trends and VR experiences

As technology becomes increasingly integral in creating unique and memorable visitor experiences, Blooloop has predicted six attraction tech trends as ones to watch in 2019.

We’ve also highlighted five key VR experiences currently drawing the crowds, from virtual paragliding to an immersive Victorian Nightmare.

Image: Tyffon