Virtual reality (VR) technology is changing the future of gaming, and has led to the creation of some of the best virtual reality startups. These innovative companies have not only helped to expand augmented reality, but they have helped create digital experiences never seen before.
Virtual reality startup companies are responsible for creating devices like the Oculus Rift and the Samsung Gear VR. They are also content creators who can make 3D modeling out of even the most complex layouts and office settings. Continue reading this article for a closer look at these exciting new VR startups and the projects they’re working on.
Find Your Bootcamp Match
- Career Karma matches you with top tech bootcamps
- Access exclusive scholarships and prep courses
What Are Virtual Reality Startup Companies?
Virtual reality startup companies are small tech businesses that focus on using virtual or augmented reality in application development and game engines. The development engine may be used for health care, big data, real estate, games, or entertainment. Reputable companies have helped make a difference in their industry through augmented reality.
Top Virtual Reality Companies That Began As Startups
Over the years, reputable companies have researched virtual reality technology and have made great strides in content design for game engines, reality platform development, and mobile applications. These five major reputable companies have helped usher in a new wave of virtual reality applications and business software solutions.
Big Virtual Reality Companies
- Oculus VR
The Best Virtual Reality Startup Companies
|Company Name||Location||Funding||Number of Employees|
|Breakroom||Reykjavik, Iceland||$7.4 million||1 – 10 (2021)|
|Holoride||Munich, Germany||$12 million||11 – 50 (2022)|
|Magic Leap||Plantation, Florida||$3.5 billion||1,220 (2022)|
|Matterport||Sunnyvale, California||$409 million||534 (2021)|
|Niantic||San Francisco, California||$770 million||501 – 1,000 (2022)|
|Oculus||Menlo Park, California||$98.4 million||501 – 1,000 (2022)|
|Owlchemy Labs||Austin, Texas||$5 million||11 – 50 (2022)|
|Vicarious Surgical||Waltham, Massachusetts||$185.2 million||101 – 250 (2022)|
|Virtualitics||Pasadena, California||$30.6 million||51 – 100 (2022)|
|Within||Los Angeles, California||$52.6 million||51 – 100 (2021)|
The Top Virtual Reality Startups: A Closer Look
- Founded: 2014
- Funding: $7.4 million
Breakroom is a small Icelandic startup. They aim to bring a distraction-free work environment to your home or office through VR tech. This content creation company uses virtual reality headsets to allow users to experience being in the workplace for people who work from home. There are also 20-plus virtual environments that provide peace and calm to increase focus.
- Founded: 2018
- Funding: $12 million
Through augmented reality and extended reality, Holoride has created technology that significantly reduces motion sickness, and makes any driving VR video game feel as realistic as possible. Holoride achieves this immersive experience through software integration, which combines data from the car’s navigation system with VR technology.
- Founded: 2011
- Funding: $3.5 billion
Magic Leap is an augmented reality company with the goal of allowing users to see, hear, and touch digital content in the real world. Magic Leap offers an immersive platform that amplifies the users’ senses to make them co-present within a digital space. For example, through Magic Leap and using the VR head-mounted display, users can attend meetings or visualize 3D models.
- Founded: 2011
- Funding: $295 million
Matterport is a virtual reality company that delivers VR to the real estate industry. Their core services work to scan and map complex layouts of homes and buildings on the market.
The tech is used by real estate professionals to offer potential home buyers a more realistic 3D tour. Visitors can see the spaces three-dimensionally by taking a virtual tour that gives them a real-life feel, without stepping foot in the structure.
- Founded: 2010
- Funding: $770 million
Niantic is an augmented reality game company. Their content creators focus on connecting virtual reality applications with the real world through mobile platform development. This interaction encourages users to get out of the house and enjoy the outdoors. This exciting new technology has been used in popular mobile games like Pokémon Go.
- Founded: 2012
- Funding: $98.4 million
Oculus is one of the most popular virtual reality companies in the gaming industry. This VR startup is best known for its virtual reality headsets, such as the Oculus Rift, Oculus Go, and Oculus VR. Popular games include Harry Potter Quidditch and Jon Favreau’s Gnomes & Goblins. Its parent company, Meta, owns Oculus, and the startup continues to develop ground-breaking tech in the world of VR gaming.
- Founded: 2010
- Funding: $5 million
Owlchemy labs is a famous gaming startup centered around VR whose software integration has created a virtual reality simulation gaming experience. The company’s best-known game is called Job Simulator, where the user wears a virtual reality headset to emulate what it’s like to work in office settings.
Owlchemy works with both desktop and mobile app platform development. Many of its games are compatible with Oculus Rift, Oculus Go, and other Oculus VR devices.
- Founded: 2014
- Funding: $185.2 million
Vicarious Surgical’s modeling concepts work to reduce the invasiveness of abdominal procedures and other medical applications. Using haptic simulators, robot arms, and cameras, doctors can visualize the interior of the abdomen while only making a 1.5 cm incision. The haptic simulator virtual reality headset allows the doctor to see clearly during their virtual experience.
- Founded: 2016
- Funding: $30.6 million
This virtual reality company allows businesses and organizations to combine data analysis with data visualization to make better decisions more quickly. Users can gain better insights into the data they’ve collected through a virtual experience, and build predictive 3D modeling for industrial applications using historical data modeling concepts. The small startup has less than 249 employees but has secured major funding to grow quickly.
- Founded: 2014
- Funding: $52.6 million
Owned by parent company Meta, Within’s content design focuses on creating VR entertainment. This startup has mobile apps for fitness, reading, and even movies and music films.
Within is known for its original content of short films, including animated, experimental, horror, documentaries, and music films, such as Reggie Watts’ Runnin’. Their mobile applications are compatible with many Oculus VR systems, including the Oculus Rift and Oculus Go for mobile games.
Benefits of Working at a Virtual Reality Startup
There are many benefits of working at a VR startup. Innovations in augmented reality and software integration have made it a growing and exciting field. Below you’ll find a few reasons why you should consider working for one of the many virtual reality startup companies.
Top 5 Reasons to Work at a Virtual Reality Startup
- Growing field. With more people wanting to work remotely, virtual reality environments are in growing demand. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job growth for software developers is set to increase by 22 percent from 2020 to 2030, which is much faster than the national average.
- Wide range of fields. Virtual reality startups range from famous gaming companies creating content design for mobile applications to real estate firms showing complex layouts of homes as a virtual reality experience, and to VR music films, like that of Reggie Watts.
- Build more efficient product development. VR is a technology that can help the decision-making process. Virtual reality startups are leading the charge in making product development more streamlined by using a computer-generated environment.
- Drive the future. Virtual reality is helping to create the future of different industries. Applications can help shape how some jobs are completed. By working at a startup, you can be a key leader in this ground-breaking industry.
- Competitive salaries and job satisfaction. Virtual reality startups offer high salaries for content creators and engineers. Many people with careers in VR, especially game developers, enjoy great job satisfaction.
Can a Coding Bootcamp Help Me Get a Job at a Virtual Reality Startup?
Yes, a coding bootcamp is a great way to get hands-on experience which is necessary training for a job at virtual reality startup companies. Virtual reality uses a wide range of computer coding languages to create and support different levels of digital experiences. Finding the right virtual reality bootcamp is dependent on the role you want to pursue.
Top Bootcamps with Virtual Reality Programs
- Game Art Institute. At the Game Art Institute, you will spend 12 weeks learning and pursuing one of their specialized tracks, such as AR/VR development, game programming, or character artistry.
- Holberton School. The Holberton School is designed to help software engineers learn about the backend, front end, full stack, and AR/VR.
- The Bridge. The Bridge offers students training in UX/UI product design and full stack web development.
- NYU Bootcamps. Students enrolled with NYU Bootcamps deepen their understanding of AR/VR prototypes and XR development.
Common Jobs in Virtual Reality
- Graphic designer: Graphic designers create the development engine that produces the visuals seen when using VR. They help design and create the visuals, layout, and 3D world that users see.
- Software engineer: In the augmented reality industry, software engineers work in coding, research, and development to create the software needed to ensure that physical equipment works with VR programs.
- XR gameplay and tool engineer: XR gameplay engineers create the debugging and profiling tools needed to help developers. The tools they make help to lower software iteration time and improve workflow.
- VR/AR maintenance and support: It is the responsibility of VR/AR maintenance and support personnel to help perform predictive maintenance in order to reduce downtime. They help avoid many common issues, like installation errors.
Should I Work for a Virtual Reality Startup Company?
Yes, virtual reality companies are excellent places to work, especially for those interested in software engineering who have good attention to detail skills. You’ll be part of a team that creates exciting, original content design for industrial applications, educational content, and game engines.
Best Virtual Reality Startups FAQ
According to ZipRecruiter, virtual reality developers earn an average of $89,590 per year. Depending on the level of experience and job requirements, salaries may go over $150,000 annually.
A degree in computer information technology focusing on programming or software engineering is necessary for a job in virtual reality, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Having a Bachelor’s or Master’s Degree in Engineering, Math, or Artificial Intelligence can also be beneficial. There are also options such as bootcamps or free courses in which to learn virtual reality.
Virtual reality is found in many different industries, such as the healthcare, entertainment, real estate, and gaming industries. An entertainment software company may use VR for games or movies. Real estate professionals use virtual reality to visualize properties and model concepts. Health care professionals can use VR to help relieve chronic pain.
About us: Career Karma is a platform designed to help job seekers find, research, and connect with job training programs to advance their careers. Learn about the CK publication.