Kite & Lightning, the technology startup known for pioneering work in cinematic virtual reality (VR), today announced it raised a $2.5 million seed round led by Raine Ventures. The funding will enable Kite & Lightning to expand its team to create Bebylon Battle Royale, a world built around competitive spectator gaming. The hybrid film and gaming studio will continue to expand the universe around its core three VR pillars: gaming, social & story.
Additional seed round investors include Courtside Ventures, Comcast Ventures Catalyst Fund, Social Capital, Outpost Capital, Boost VC, & Jason Rosenthal, CEO of Lytro.
As a leader in VR, Kite & Lightning combines stylistic creativity and unrivaled artistry to produce emotionally transformative experiences. The studio’s work has been featured at the Toronto International Film Festival POP exhibit in August and has also featured high-profile musicians and actors like Pharrell Williams, Gwen Stefani, Adam Levine and Kate Winslet.
“This marks a pivotal moment for us as we transition to expanding beyond our two-person team,” said Ikrima Elhassan, co-founder and CEO of Kite & Lightning. “We’re elated to have world-class investors that share our vision and believe in our ability to pioneer groundbreaking VR experiences melding cinematic storytelling with interactive gaming.”
“Kite & Lightning has been pushing the envelope in cinematic virtual reality for three years, and we are thrilled to be partnered with this industry-leading creative team,” said Gordon Rubenstein, Managing Partner at Raine Ventures. “Their upcoming title, Bebylon Battle Royale, is the most impressive social gaming experience we’ve ever seen, and we believe is only the beginning of a unique metaverse that will captivate gamers and audiences for years to come.”
Bebylon Battle Royale will be the studio’s first foray into comedy. Set in a mishap future where humanity does not physically age past the baby phase, the world of Bebylon is built around competitive battle arenas where immortal babies fight one another. Vying for fame and fortune, players compete in front of a live VR spectator audience. Players can also venture outside of the arenas to socialize, experience shows, and take virtual rides.