Aldin raises $1M to develop believable virtual realities

Reykjavik, Iceland - July 3, 2018 - Aldin, a VR software company creating consumer experiences and technologies to make virtual worlds more believable, is today announcing the closing of a $1M (USD) seed funding round and announcing the development of a new consumer VR entertainment product.

The round is led by Crowberry Capital and joining the funding round is angel fund Investa and the Icelandic Technology Development Fund. The funding will be used to produce new consumer VR entertainment products and to further develop the company’s technologies for more believable VR worlds.

Virtual reality is already transforming industries, letting us physically step into virtual worlds that feel like reality. This natural experience is exceptionally accessible to mainstream audiences, presenting an entirely new market set for growth as VR capabilities and content offerings expand. The industry’s race towards more convincing virtual realities will demand continuous innovation in coming years and decades, particularly in XR AI and simulation technologies. This presents a big opportunity for innovative startups to secure a technological lead in producing believable illusions of reality, enabling highly competitive products that offer new forms of consumer entertainment. Aldin sees believable reality experiences as a new media format with immense market potential alongside books, motion pictures and games.

“The ability of old entertainment formats to astound and amaze is fading because we’ve seen it all before. We are ready for something new and completely different.” said Hrafn Th. Thorisson, CEO & co-founder of Aldin, “Believable reality experiences are unlike anything that’s been possible in the past, offering the accessibility of movies and interactivity beyond typical games. Since nothing can play on our emotions like reality, believable virtual realities are set to become the most emotionally engaging format in entertainment history.”

Aldin’s next title will let users step into a fantastical world and become acquainted with a character in ways that could only happen in VR, powered by XR AI systems that help form personal connections with characters beyond what’s possible with screenbound entertainment. The new title represents a major milestone in a series of three past pilot products: Trial of the Rift Drifter, Asunder and most recently Waltz of the Wizard® which became the #1 highest rated VR app on Steam with over 250,000 users, making it one of the most well received VR apps to date. Aldin’s new experience unites the elements of these past products, each of which explored different aspects of believable realities and were hailed by consumers and critics as pioneering showcases of the potential of VR. Details and release dates will be announced in the second half of 2018.

“Visuals are just the surface when it comes to believability.” said Hrafn Thorisson, “We specifically sculpt the way our worlds work to sustain believability and sense of presence, meeting expectations of what being in a reality is like.”

To achieve believable experiences Aldin has built a base of new XR technologies, design methods and production techniques over the course of several years. A cornerstone of the company’s technological foundation is behavior analysis, enabling more convincing XR AI character reactions and powering the Ghostline® XR toolsuite to enhance design and production of immersive content. Another recent VR invention is the Telepath™ locomotion system as a more immersive substitute for teleporting, used by over 90% of users in Waltz of the Wizard given an option of alternative VR movement systems (the two VR standards, teleporting & smooth locomotion).

“We’ve been at the forefront of VR since 2013, focusing on content and technologies that bring immersion and presence to the level that justifies VR and gives people a reason to want it.” said Gunnar Steinn Valgardsson, CTO & co-founder of Aldin, “We are humbled and thankful for the amazing response to our earlier work. We’re now at the next frontier and we are going to deliver experiences that place users in worlds that are only possible in VR.”

Helga Valfells of Crowberry Capital will be joining the board of directors, bringing decades of startup experience to the company.

"We are delighted to be investing in Aldin. The company has proprietary technology to further the development of VR and AR.” said Helga Valfells, Managing Partner of Crowberry Capital, “The Aldin team has an intuitive understanding of VR as a medium as well the right mix of creative talent and technology skills to deliver exciting content in alternative realities. We look forward to working with Aldin at the frontier of augmented- and virtual reality."

Interested parties are invited to send inquiries to Aldin for interviews and further information regarding the company and its plans.

Aldin - Hrafn Thorri Thórisson: // tel. +354 847 5104
Crowberry Capital - Helga Valfells: // tel. +354 861 0108

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Aldin is an Icelandic VR software company founded in early 2013 by Hrafn Thorri Thorisson and Gunnar Steinn Valgardsson, focused on creating believable virtual reality experiences and technologies to sustain presence & immersion. Since its founding, the Aldin team has passionately worked towards capturing experiences that are only possible in VR, in ways that entertain and inspire diverse audiences.

Crowberry Capital is a Nordic Venture fund that invests in young technology companies that aim to scale internationally. The fund was established in July 2017. The founding partners behind Crowberry Capital, Helga Valfells, Hekla Arnardóttir & Jenný Ruth Hrafnsdóttir all have extensive venture capital experience, having managed over 51 technology start-ups, negotiated a total of 15 exits and made 17 seed investments.

Investa is an early stage investor in some of Iceland's most innovative startups. The fund invests primarily in companies in the technology sector offering products and solutions that have an international appeal. The Investa team has been developing, marketing and selling technology internationally for many years, and works closely with companies in their portfolio to help them succeed.