SideQuest Raises $3 Million as Platform Looks to Add Tools to Aid VR Developers
SideQuest has raised $3 million in seed round as the platform’s founders look to create tools that will help VR developers. The latest fundraising is a level up from last year’s $650k investment.
SideQuest is a sideloading platform that was launched in 2019 just a few days after Oculus Quest release. As of now, the platform has over 1 million active monthly users according to its founders, husband-and-wife team of Shane Harris and Orla Harris.
The time has finally come to announce our latest fundraise. We started @SideQuestVR in 2019 with the goal of helping developers share their content to grow an early community and get essential feedback. That's still the plan! Thank you to our supporters❤️ https://t.co/XxYkHJSZQL
— SideQuestOrla (@SideQuestOrla) October 8, 2021
SideQuest provided virtual reality developers with an alternative route to list their content publicly that users could try out on Facebook’s standalone VR headset Oculus Quest. It helped developers bypass the stringent console-like curation policy for Quest content in the official. The platform therefore made it relatively easy for Quest owners looking to try out something new outside the official Quest Store to explore the experimental software on the sideloading platform. Facebook eventually provided official support for this form of distribution via its App Lab system.
With the funding, SideQuest is now poised for change at a time when many competitors are already ramping up efforts to build more powerful and portable virtual reality headsets. The widely supported OpenXR standard is also expected to enable developers to build virtual reality apps capable of running on wide-ranging hardware.
SideQuest used its last year’s pre-seed money in developing a testing service as well as other tools to help virtual reality developers. With its latest $3 million seed round, the company could accelerate and expand its plans for the platform. The funding came from PROfounders. Also participating in the seed round were Ada Ventures, SCNE, Connect Ventures along with other strategic angel investors.
According to Orla Harris, SideQuest aims ‘to help more developers port to more platforms” as the ecosystem opens up and additional hardware come into the space.
Some titles such as Cubism, Puzzling Places and Hyper Dash have leveraged the SideQuest platform to obtain feedback on their in-development software thereby using the sideloading platform as a springboard for moving forward to store releases on a variety of platforms. Early this year also saw SideQuest releasing an Android app that allows for sideloading onto Quest without requiring a PC.
According to SideQuest co-founder Shane Harris, the new funding gives the company the “runway needed to focus on driving more engagement in our communities, more support for developers and more innovation in VR.” He says the company is excited to “provide discovery and community for the next generation of content creators.” In a statement, co-founder Shane Harris said that the company will be focusing its energies on building the tools and services that will assist developers in targeting multiple platforms with OpenXR while also leveraging the SideQuest community to grow their audience.