Pimax gets $30 million for high-end VR headsets
VR headset maker Pimax cleared a $30 million investment round. Pimax earmarked the funds for growth and shipping improvements.
When you think of Pimax, you might think about its high-resolution, wide-field-of-view PC VR headsets. You might also think of delivery delays and a confusing product lineup. A successful C1 funding round should help strengthen the company's focus and reliability.
According to the Shanghai-based company, Beijing-based investment firm Danmu Capital led the $30 million funding round. The investments strengthen the company's financial position as it rolls out its new portfolio of VR devices. The C1 Series follows Series B investments in 2020 ($20 million) and Series A in 2017 ($15 million).
A focus on high-end VR
New and upcoming products include:
- the Pimax Crystal standalone VR headset with interchangeable aspherical lenses and a 160-hertz display,
- the Pimax Portal handheld VR hybrid reminiscent of the Nintendo Switch,
- and the Pimax Reality 12K, expected to launch sometime this year.
Pimax identified a few main areas that the new funding benefits most. The fresh working capital will help the company prepare for the rapidly growing demand for Crystal and Portal devices and expand its business operations to better serve enterprises and end users. Next comes investment in research and development around Pimax's existing core competencies.
It remains to be seen whether Pimax delivers on these promises. For years, many Western prospects have wanted the company to focus its portfolio on a few, better-designed models of VR headsets and to support them sustainably. After all, the Pimax brand is known for VR headsets with a high resolution and, above all, a large field of view - something the competition does not offer.
The Pimax 8K, which was funded via Kickstarter in 2017, already offered a field of view of about 200 degrees, reflected in a correspondingly wide casing. By comparison, the Valve Index (review), which is popular for its relatively wide field of view, only delivers around 130 degrees. For the Playstation VR2 (review), it's about 110 degrees.
Pimax wants to grow further
The company now has offices in San Jose, Stockholm, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Hangzhou, Qingdao, and Chengdu. Pimax has its own production facilities in China. Company founder Robin Weng is optimistic after the latest round of investment, saying:
"Although we are now a seven-year-old company with more than 300 employees in offices around the world, we still have the spirit of a start-up. At the same time, we are working hard to make the development and delivery process more mature and stable to better serve our users from all over the world, and this new round of funding will definitely help us a lot in achieving that goal."
New VR headset from Pimax delayed again
As for the Pimax Portal, there is only an email notification option on the official website. Currently, the company is still busy serving the backers of the crowdfunding campaign.
Originally, Pimax hoped to deliver all orders by Christmas 2022. Later, the manufacturer targeted the end of January, but Pimax could not meet this deadline either. A Kickstarter update on January 13 mentions numerous Covid 19 illnesses that caused delays in the supply chain. Most recently, Pimax pushed Portal deliveries back from the end of January 2023 to "February at the earliest."
The planned Pimax Crystal VR headset can be pre-ordered on the official website.