Comcast Ventures Backs New VR Company

Founders of California VR firm Spaces come from DreamWorks Animation, THQ

Virtual reality content company Spaces has picked up $3 million in initial funding, led by Comcast Ventures, the Santa Monica, Calif.-based firm announced May 18.

Spaces — founded by CEO Shiraz Akmal, a veteran of gaming company THQ, and CTO Brad Herman, the former head of DreamWorks Animation’s DreamLab — is already working with Microsoft, NBCUniversal, Big Blue Bubble and others, to produce several VR projects for the Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, Google Cardboard, Microsoft HoloLens, Samsung Gear VR and PlayStation VR.

“Spaces has a compelling and clear vision to be the catalyst for companies looking to create VR … experiences,” said Michael Yang, managing director of Comcast Ventures. “Spaces is combining remarkable capabilities, tools and creativity to push the boundaries of the VR frontier.”

The Spaces team also includes Dean Orion, executive creative director, who’s created interactive, location-based attractions for both DreamWorks Animation and Walt Disney Imagineering. Spaces’ advisory board includes Dan Offner, former general counsel for Oculus, Keith Boesky, former president of Eidos Interactive, and Indian film actor Rana Daggubati.

Other groups funding Spaces include Boost VC, Canyon Creek Capital, the Colopl VR Fund, Gree Inc., Kai Huang, the Venture Reality Fund, the Sinovation Fund and Youku Global Media Fund.

“Virtual reality spaces offer creative challenges we’ve never seen before: to build fully dimensional spaces in which viewers can completely interact,” Akmal said.