VR Sports App Gym Class Receives $8M In Funding
Gym Class, one of the most popular sports apps on Meta Quest App Lab, has raised $8 million in a seed round led by Andreessen Horowitz. Developed by IRL Studios Inc., the app is designed to mix all of the elements of real-world sports together in a VR game so players can experience the fitness and social ends of it, while also being fun and entertaining. The app is currently set to launch as a full game sometime in Fall 2022, and this latest round of funding will help them push the game into new areas as many are convinced this will become a new form of exercise and interaction in a growing VR ecosystem. We have more info and some quotes from the announcement below.
"Gym Class is more than a game, it's a digital sport." said Paul Katsen, co-founder and Chief Product Officer, Gym Class. "It lets you dunk like a pro, become a basketball star, watch, compete, cheer, and get involved in the whole experience of the sport. Just like with real sports, we believe digital sports will see thriving global communities, leagues, entertainment and events, fashion, commerce, fitness, and more."
"We are convinced that games, virtual worlds and digital sports will be the new social networks," said Andrew Chen, Partner, Andreessen Horowitz (a16z). "Gym Class signals the dawn of digital sports. It has the traction, and has the right team behind it to realize the true potential of social VR. We are strong believers in the vision and the team who have already proven Gym Class has a massive audience and opportunity."
The Gym Class founders joined forces to build a social experience through digital sports leveraging their consumer, virtual reality and gaming backgrounds. Matthew Harris, CEO, who had led VR and gaming teams for years met Justin Hubert, Chief Creative Officer, at Walmart building VR commerce applications. Together with friend Paul Katsen, Chief Product Officer, who led Twitter's Home Timeline product – the social giant's largest surface, they created Gym Class. The team has solved the toughest problems in engineering to offer realistic physics, and full body avatars running on mobile hardware. Leveraging early community feedback, and layering compelling social and competition features, Gym Class had already created a breakthrough VR basketball app.