Benny Landa recently invested $2 million in a startup that hopes to make virtual reality (VR) technology accessible to the general public. DoublX, based in Petah Tikva, is developing a drag and drop platform for creating content and websites adapted to VR spectacles.
DoublX has developed a platform for building 3D websites, storing them, and publishing them for use without technical knowledge or installing applications. The platform combines a drop and drag feature with the option of creating HotSpots. The idea is to enable everyone to create Internet content adjusted to VR spectacles, with the idea that such spectacles will become a major content and media consumption channel in the future.
Landa's previous investments focused mainly on the printing, nanotechnology, and energy industries. He invested in HumanEyes, which is developing a VR camera, in 2017. DoublX intends to provide the infrastructure for this camera. Landa says, "There are three conditions that a venture must meet before we invest in it: it has to appeal to a large market, it has to have unique and ground-breaking technology, and our group has to be able to contribute to or cooperate with the venture."
CEO Gil Rotem founded DoublX in 2017 through a crowdfunding project on the Pipelbiz platform in which he raised $100,000 in just nine days. The company later raised $375,000 more. Rotem has no academic education and holds no high school matriculation certificate. "When I was released from military service, I founded my first company, which dealt with 3D and animation and visual 3D. The company was sold and is still active and I have been active in this sphere for over 15 years and hold more than 10 patents.
"There are now a lot of people in the world who understand 3D and there are many people who know how to program well, certainly in Israel. There are very few people who know how to program and also understand 3D. In order to construct a 3D system, you have to translate 3D volume into code. There are some programmers able to do this, but very few. The proof is that everybody's talking about VR, but it's not developing fast enough.
"I feel and understand the great responsibility of being the first company to get an investment from Landa. I've gotten offers from funds before, but I didn't need so much money and didn't want to give up half of the company right away. I raised $100,000 at a company value of $1 million on Pipelbiz, so I still have 90%. Pipelbiz helped me reach the next stage of financing and gave the general public an option to take part. Had I gone to the venture capital funds, they would have slaughtered me."
DoublX will use the money raised to work on a new feature it is developing - live stream VR. The company says that uses of this feature include live broadcasting of shows, health, and security. The company, which currently has 10 employees, plans to hire five more in the coming year. Its platform is now emerging from the beta stage; the finished platform is scheduled to go online at the end of next month on the freemium model.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on August 6, 2018
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