Gadgets & Electronics, Software

Chinese Electronics Retailer Bets On Virtual Reality

Chinese electronics retailer Suning has wrapped its arms around the future by investing in a Shenzhen-based virtual reality camera maker.

The VR firm, Insta360, raised the undisclosed sum from a unit of Suning Commerce Group after completing its series B round in April 2016. Led by Chinese cloud computing firm Shenzhen Xunlei Networking Technologies in April, that round raised several hundred million RMB, though exact figures have not been revealed by the related parties.

Suning's plunge into Insta360 appears aimed at helping the company sell its products via online and offline channels.

With the strategic investment, Suning also plans to help Insta360 expand its VR content production and distribution capabilities.

Suning's PPTV unit, which is an online video streaming platform, will be able to provide more VR content, including live sports events, to viewers.

In July, Insta360 launched its Nano VR camera that allows iPhone users to produce VR content simply by plugging the camera to their iPhones with a connector.

Established in 2014, Insta360 previously raised up to US$1 million from IDG Capital Partners in 2014, and received US$8 million in series A round from Qiming Venture Partners and IDG Capital Partners last year.

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