Refract, a Singapore-based prolonged actuality (XR) startup, introduced at present it has closed roughly $8.5million SGD (roughly $6million) Sequence A led by Sea Restricted together with worldwide household places of work and particular person traders.
The newest funding might be used to accentuate R&D for AXIS, a wearable and game-oriented full-body movement seize resolution. The startup additionally plans to develop its workforce in preparation for the commercialization of AXIS later this yr to cater to the quickly rising market of avid gamers, tech adopters, content material creators and health fans. The Sequence A spherical brings Refract’s complete raised to $9 million.
In 2018, three co-founders of Refract, Chong Geng Ng, Michael Chng and Eugene Koh, labored on a gaming-related mission and encountered an issue assertion: How would one bridge the hole between gaming and bodily exercise? CEO of Refract Chng instructed TechCrunch that the answer they came upon was to permit gamers to make use of their our bodies as sport controllers. After poring over paperwork and articles of cutting-edge technological improvements in gaming and functions in different industries, the three co-founders recognized a spot out there and arrange Refract.
“Refract’s purpose has at all times been to grow to be a key participant in AR and XR gaming, and this funding allows us to speed up this course of,” stated Chng.
The funding announcement comes on the heels of the profitable completion of crowdfunding marketing campaign on Kickstarter for AXIS and its XR sport publishing division arrange through Deep Dive Studio acquisition.
In contrast to full-body movement monitoring techniques like Notion Neuron, Rokoko and Xsens, AXIS is for real-time gaming and leisure use. AXIS additionally permits customers the flexibleness of utilizing between 7-10 nodes for gaming or as much as the business customary of 17 for higher-precision movement monitoring. AXIS doesn’t want a base station however nonetheless requires wifi to hook up with the person’s pc.
“AXIS might be absolutely untethered and wi-fi, requiring no exterior base stations or setups. Every little thing is on the physique, with proprietary inside-out monitoring functionality. This addresses frequent points like occlusion and house necessities of techniques corresponding to HTC Vive,” Chng instructed TechCrunch.
Refract will proceed delivering immersive and interesting XR and VR experiences to a rising market of two.9 billion avid gamers by its video games and expertise, such because the wearable AXIS.
Its Deep Dive Studio allows Refract to create extra immersive titles to complement its roster of choices, such because the FreeStriker combating sport, which is at the moment in growth and might be out there free for all AXIS prospects.
To make it accessible to sport builders and content material creators, Refract’s software program suite is suitable with platforms like OpenVR, OpenXR, Unity and Unreal engines, and current VR techniques and functions. AXIS also can work with well-liked VR headsets just like the Oculus Quest 2, Chng stated.
Refract is eyeing extra vertical and horizontal integrations within the sector.
Refract has already secured strategic relationships with the likes of World Taekwondo as a part of its digital sports activities program, working with the federation to make Digital Taekwondo a medal occasion within the close to future. The partnership happened when World Taekwondo noticed a possibility to gamify the game and attain out to a broader, tech-savvy viewers by creating a brand new self-discipline, Chng instructed TechCrunch. Refract additionally plans to characteristic AXIS on the 2022 World Esports Gems in Istanbul, Turkey.
“AXIS represents an enormous step ahead in bringing excessive constancy movement monitoring and seize expertise to a broader viewers; innovating throughout the house and delivering much more immersive gaming experiences,” stated Chong Geng Ng, govt director of Refract. “Our funding displays the robust perception Sea and our different traders have in our imaginative and prescient and creativity in addition to the large untapped potential of the XR gaming market.”
“It’s thrilling to see a Singaporean firm like Refract driving the event of modern applied sciences in XR and VR,” stated Jason NG, vp of strategic partnerships, at Sea’s digital leisure arm, Garena. “We’re happy to assist their development and the event of the general innovation ecosystem in Singapore.”
“Sea and our different traders acknowledged the expertise at Refract in addition to the large potential of AXIS. The profitable completion of the AXIS Kickstarter marketing campaign proves that there’s a devoted group of avid gamers who share this imaginative and prescient, and we sit up for delivering AXIS and FreeStriker to them in 2022,” Chng stated.