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The future of Hollywood settles in The Netherlands. Jaunt VR, the startup that develops hardware, software, tools, and applications to make virtual reality movies, opens a brand new office in Amsterdam. Jaunt VR stresses it is not just a sales office, they chose Amsterdam because of the high level of developers available. This makes it the first American company to conduct their R&D and development in The Netherlands. It is not entirely new ground for Jaunt VR. The company is founded in Palo Alto, but the founder was born and raised in The Netherlands.
High end VR
Jaunt VR is founded in 2013 and has since made a big name with producing and enabling cinematic virtual reality. They both develop the hardware, consisting of very advanced cameras that film in 360 degrees, as well as the software to stitch all the images together. Their high end equipment is currently only available for professional filmmakers or production houses, as rental prices for a camera start at $4.000 a day.
Dutch founder and CEO
After CEO and co-founder Jens Christensen left the company last May, Dutch co-founder Arthur van Hoff took over as interim CEO. “The Netherlands is an ideal location to support our advanced development efforts,” says van Hoff. “As a truly international city, Amsterdam is a hotbed for engineers and developers known for pushing the boundaries of technology. We’re looking for VR enthusiasts – with strong coding skills, who are interested in being a part of a movement that is pioneering the future of VR and AR – to join the growing Jaunt team.”
Entrepreneurial experience in Silicon Valley
Arthur van Hoff is a serial entrepreneur and was most recently CTO at Flipboard. He started his career in Silicon Valley at Sun Microsystems where he was an early developer of the Java programming language. Since then he has started several successful companies including Marimba (IPO 1999), Strangeberry (acquired by TiVo), ZING (acquired by Dell), and Ellerdale (acquired by Flipboard). The Amsterdam office will be headed by Chief Representative Michiel Frackers. He studied Communications in Amsterdam and San Francisco. He co-founded Planet Internet, which became Holland’s largest ISP and subsequently invested in technology startups such as Dialogue Company (Tripolis, AcceptEmail), Flabber and Fieber.
Dutch startup in Silicon Valley and vice versa
Ever since it was founded in 2013, the background of its co-founder meant Jaunt VR was hailed in the Dutch press as the Silicon Valley success story with a hint of orange. The Dutch roots never remained unmentioned. Now that the scale-up is coming to Amsterdam, the news takes an interesting turn as the ‘American startup blesses Amsterdam with its presence’. No matter the roots of the startup, we’re happy to have ‘em here.
A boost for Amsterdam’s tech ecosystem
We’re not the only one. “StartupDelta applauds Jaunt for its decision to invest in The Netherlands,” says Constantijn van Oranje, Special Envoy StartupDelta. “Its presence here, as a leading producer of immersive VR experiences, will boost Amsterdam’s innovative tech ecosystem. In turn Jaunt will experience the benefits of a rich pool of creative minds and high quality software engineers and VR developers, as well as a market that is eager to experiment and adopt new forms of content and services.”
Impressive list of investors
The Amsterdam office is not the first European base for the startup. They already have an office in Londen. Besides that they also recently opened the doors of an office in Shanghai. The startup raised at least $100 million capital from an impressive list of backers, including Jaunt’s investors The Walt Disney Company, Evolution Media Partners, China Media Capital, Highland Capital Partners, Google Ventures, Redpoint Ventures, Axel Springer, ProSiebenSat.1 SE, The Madison Square Garden Company, Peter Gotcher, Blake Krikorian, and Sky.