Verizon Acquires Virtual Reality Startup Jaunt

Verizon buys Jaunt
Image: Jaunt

Verizon has bought Disney-backed XR company Jaunt for an undisclosed amount of money. This acquisition will give Verizon access to Jaunt’s cutting-edge AR/VR software, technology. Additionally, Jaunt will be assisting Verizon with the transition of select portions of the company’s tech and software for a brief period.

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“Jaunt will be assisting Verizon with the transition of select portions of the software and technology for a brief period of time,” Jaunt said in the announcement Monday morning.

Jaunt originally worked on technology for capturing and displaying volumetric video of humans. Since its founding in 2013, the company has raised over $100 million from investors like Disney.

Jaunt was launched with a focus on VR technology, and then it went on to create content for VR headsets. At that time, it was one of the more visible independent companies working in VR technology. It also partnered with various consumer brands to help them create virtual reality content. Jaunt also had its own app on Oculus, Vive, PlayStation VR, as well as both iOS and Android. In 2018, Jaunt pivoted to augmented reality.

Verizon
Image: Verizon (facebook)

“We are thrilled with Verizon’s acquisition of Jaunt’s technology,” said Mitzi Reaugh, President & CEO of Jaunt XR. “The Jaunt team has built leading-edge software and we are excited for its next chapter with Verizon.”

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This new deal comes at a time when recently Verizon Media Group laid off 7% of its workforce. The division, formerly known as Oath, encompasses media, advertising and technology properties, including popular sites like Yahoo, HuffPost and TechCrunch. Additionally, Verizon in 2018 was forced to take a $4.6 billion write-down on its media business, indicating it hadn’t been performing as well as the company hoped, reports CNBC.

Jaunt’s investors include Evolution Media Partners, CMC, Highland Capital Partners, Redpoint Ventures, SMG, Axel Springer, The Walt Disney Company, The Madison Square Garden Company, and Sky.