Virtual Reality Startup Jaunt Builds Sales Team to Become the ‘Netflix for VR’
Jaunt, a startup that makes applications and hardware for virtual reality, has hired a fleet of sales executives to cajole more media companies and advertisers into building content for VR.
That fleet includes Julie Uhrman, the former founder and CEO of the Android game console company Ouya, who joins as Head of Platform Business Development. Beth Greve, the Chief Revenue Officer for YouTube network AwesomenessTV, is coming on as a “senior consultant” focused on the revenue strategy. Two more execs are coming on in Europe, rounding out the first business development team for the startup.
Much of their job will be spent convincing partners that producing for VR is worthwhile as the first mass consumer devices hit the market this year. The hires point to Jaunt’s aim to be the premiere media destination for consumer VR as the young field gets an injection of attention from tech behemoths. The startup, which has raised over $100 million from several investors including Disney, markets a 360-degree camera for shooting VR. It also runs a production studio and has focused increasingly on its media library assets.
David Anderman, the startup’s chief business officer, has referred to this ambition as becoming the “Netflix for VR.”
Anderman will work on growing partnerships with media companies like Condé Nast, ABC News and the NFL and adding others, the company said. Uhrman, in particular, comes with deep ties to the gaming and Android world. Ouya, which attempted to bring the mobile app model to gaming, struggled to get traction but did net investment (and interest) from several Asian tech giants.
In its attempt to be the go-to studio for VR, Jaunt faces formidable competition — namely from Facebook, which is pushing media and brands to make VR video, and Google, which is doing the same and building similar hardware. Scott Broock, a former business exec for Jaunt, was hired away by YouTube in January.
This post first appeared on Re/code.