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Unity said to be in talks to raise funds valued at $1.5 billion

March 31
8:16 AM 2016

Unity Technologies, a creator of gaming software, is reportedly in negotiations to raise funds, which could value Unity at $1.5 billion. The company's investment round is anticipated to end within few weeks. Unity designs software tools, which aid people to construct new video games.

The potential fundraising will boost the company's cash resources as it seeks to gain from the growing virtual reality market, Bloomberg said quoting unidentified people with knowledge of the matter. However, the gaming software creator declined to comment. The company's products are used by many video game developers, despite Unity's unpopularity outside gaming market. Unity now has roughly 4 million registered game developers and that 30% of the top thousand mobile games are built with the help of the company's software tools.

The rising interest in VR instruments creates a major business opportunity for Unity as the virtual reality apps are constructed with the company's gaming software. Sixteen of the primary 30 games for Facebook's Oculus Rift that was launched this week were constructed with Unity's tools. Moreover, the company's technology is widespread among other game builders, who are challenging virtual reality devices designed by Sony and HTC Corp.

Unity's software will be the key tool in the making of apps for Microsoft's amplified reality device, HoloLens that is scheduled to launch on Wednesday. The gaming tool is also popular among less-tech module of VR devices. Palmer Luckey, co-founder of Oculus, said that over 90% of games available for Gear VR, a headset devised for smartphone users made by Oculus along with Samsung Electronics, have been designed using Unity software technologies.

According to VentureBeat, Nicholas Francis, one of Unity's founders, wanted to sell his shareholdings in the company, creating a behest process for his stake. However, Sequoia Capital, a chief investor, reportedly purchased Nicholas' shares and now it seems that the company is raising capital for additional business expansion rather than being acquired. John Riccitiello, chief executive officer of Unity, said that the year 2015 was a great period for the company and that it expects 2016 to be even greater for its business.

Meanwhile, WTHR said that Facebook has unveiled Oculus Rift headset on Wednesday, which cost nearly $600 and can introduce 30 games and other related experiences in the app store. According to tech experts, these headsets will not drive VR market sales. While commenting on the launch, John Riccitiello said, "We shouldn't get ahead of our expectations in thinking this is going to be under every Christmas tree at the holidays. I don't think it's going to be that big, that fast. Three- to five years, it's massive."

While, there are plenty of low-cost headsets like Carboard of Google and Gear VR of Samsung, this launch of Oculus Rift will not lure the VR headset market, experts believe. The growth of VR market is a boon for Unity as games available for these devices are built on the company's gaming platform.

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