Oculus VR Gets $16M For Virtual Reality Gaming Headset

Irvine-based Oculus VR, a developer of a virtual reality headset for gaming enthusiasts, said Monday that it has raised $16M in nan investment round. The round includes Spark Capital and Matrix Partners. Oculus VR is headed by Brendan Iribe, the former Chief Product Officer at Gaikai; the firm's founder is Palmer Luckey, who got his start developing virtual reality systems at USC's Institute for Creative Technologies (ICT) in the Mixed Reality lab. The firm has previously raised around $2.4M from Kickstarter for its technology, and is one a number of hardware companies which have suddenly seen new life getting their products off the ground from crowdfunding.

The sudden rise of crowdfunding--particularly on Kickstarter--appears to have kicked off a mini boom in Southern California and elsewhere for hardware projects. A few of the companies here who have harnessed crowdfunding for their hardware projects are Melon (brainwave tapping smartphone app); Edison Jr. (gadgets like the Doorbot and POP Charger); Olloclip (iPhone camera lenses).