Meta launches $250K mixed reality fund for 5 Indian startups

Meta launches 0K mixed reality fund for 5 Indian startups

Mumbai: Meta on Wednesday announced a new mixed reality (MR) programme in India that includes a grant of $250,000 for Indian startups and developers to build apps and experiences. The fund seeks to nurture innovation and build an ecosystem of extended reality (XR) technologies in the country, the company said in a statement.

Mixed reality, also referred to as hybrid reality or extended reality, is an environment in which physical reality and digital content are combined in a way that enables interaction with and among real-world and virtual objects.

According to the company, the fund will help developers build apps using Meta’s Presence Platform, the company’s broad range of machine perception and AI capabilities for the Meta Quest Platform and metaverse.

As part of the programme, a select group of up to five Indian developers and startups will receive the financial grant, along with dedicated mentoring and guidance from the Meta Reality Labs experts. They will also have an opportunity to upload their product to Quest App Lab and become part of Meta’s growing developer ecosystem, Meta said in the statement.

The shortlisted startups will get an introduction to leading local venture capital funds at the end of the programme, it said.

“Meta is committed to building the XR ecosystem in India. The Presence Platform is an integral part of the metaverse vision, aiming to make virtual experiences more tangible and accessible,” Sandhya Devanathan, vice president for Meta in India, said.

“We believe that this fund and programme will accelerate the creation and adoption of VR and MR experiences in the country and give Indian developers an opportunity to go global with their innovations,” Devanathan added.

The fund is now open for applicants, inviting both established and emerging startups and developers to experiment with the skills offered by the Presence Platform.

The selected developers will need to integrate Presence Platform into existing or new Meta Quest apps via features such as Passthrough, Scene Understanding, Spatial Anchors, Shared Spatial Anchors, Voice SDK, Text to Speech, Interaction SDK for Hand Tracking and Social Presence APIs, said the company.

According to a report published on 9 March by market research firm Statista, the global extended reality (XR) market that includes AR/VR and MR hit $29.26 billion in 2022, and is expected to touch $100 billion by 2026.

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Updated: 28 Jun 2023, 01:50 PM IST

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Author: Shirley