NEWS IN ENGLISH | Axel Springer and ProSiebenSat.1 acquire shares in the American virtual reality specialist Jaunt VR
Axel Springer and ProSiebenSat.1 acquire shares in the American virtual reality specialist Jaunt VR
2015-12-07 15:17:00

Axel Springer
Axel Springer SE and ProSiebenSat.1 Media SE have each acquired a minority shareholding in Jaunt, an American start-up that specialises in the creation and distribution of virtual reality content.

Working with media companies, advertisers and artists, and using in-house developers camera and software technology, Jaunt produces high-quality virtual reality content and releases this via the Jaunt distribution platform. To date, videos are primarily receivable through the Jaunt Smartphone app using Cardboards- a cover which transforms every Smartphone into a 3D Virtual Reality viewer - in future they will however also be available directly on Virtual Reality headset displays such as the "Oculus Rift".

Following the joint Media-for-Equity shareholding in the DEAG subsidiary MyTicket and the co-investment in Klaus Hommels' LAKESTAR II Internet fund, the participation in Jaunt is a third measure in the joint initiative by Axel Springer and ProSiebenSat.1 to promote digital growth companies.

Alongside Axel Springer and ProSiebenSat.1, The Walt Disney Company, Evolution Media Partners and China Media Capital are also taking part in the current investment round in Jaunt. Other investors include Google Ventures, Highland Capital, Redpoint Ventures and Sky, as well as prominent angel investors such as Jared Leto.

Anton Waitz, Managing Director of Axel Springer Digital Ventures Inc.: "Jaunt is an exciting new component in the portfolio of our early-stage investments. We are investing in a market, which can change media use over the next few years: Virtual Reality will provide creative pioneers in the entertainment and news industry with completely new ways of pleasing their audiences."

Dr. Hanno Fichtner, Chief Digital Strategy Officer of ProSiebenSat.1 in San Francisco: "The investment in Jaunt is an investment in the future of entertainment for ProSiebenSat.1. Virtual reality will trigger an entertainment revolution similar to what our core media of TV did. Jaunt is perfectly positioned in this market and has raised the quality of virtual reality experiences to the next level."

Jens Christensen, CEO and co-Founder of Jaunt: "We are excited to have Axel Springer and ProSiebenSat.1, two leading and innovative media companies, as a part of this strategic investor round. As we continue to build upon our leadership position, delivering amazing virtuality reality experiences to audiences worldwide, we are pleased to have these strong European partners on our side."

Axel Springer in the USA

Axel Springer founded Axel Springer Digital Ventures Inc., an American subsidiary based in Silicon Valley, in 2014. In the United States, Axel Springer is the largest investor in Ozy, an online magazine for news and culture, and holds minority interests in the online business magazine Business Insider, the news platform, the social-video-news media company NowThis Media, the Pixlee photo-community, the save-for-later app Pocket, the A Plus media start-up and the Airbnb community accommodations marketplace. The digital publisher Livingly Media is fully owned by, the world's leading women's portal, in which Axel Springer holds a majority interest. Axel Springer also has a majority shareholding in the Retale shopping platform through the Group.