21 January 2019, 11:31am
The Dream Corporation has secured $1.1 million of investment to introduce a new leisure and hospitality concept with immersive entertainment at its heart.
The investment is led by Imbiba, a specialist investor in the UK leisure and hospitality sector via the Imbiba Leisure EIS Fund, and is supported by tech angel investors, with growth plans across major UK cities.
The funding will enable the team, led by alumni from McKinsey, Oval Space and Milk & Honey, to build exclusive virtual reality experiences. The first of these is to be installed in OTHERWORLD, a permanent site scheduled for opening in Haggerston, East London, mid-2019.
“We are thrilled to be partnering with Imbiba and our angel investors,” said Chris Adams, CEO and Co-Founder. “Building on our sell-out 2017 pilot, we have developed unique, multisensory technology which immerses you more deeply into virtual worlds than anything else on the market today. This new investment will accelerate our growth across the UK and beyond.”
The Dream Corporation was founded in 2017 by Chris Adams, a former management consultant and e-sports entrepreneur, and Ed Wardle, a former screenwriter to Oscar-winning filmmakers. Virtual reality is the fastest growing segment of the UK’s entertainment and media sector and will be worth more than £1.2 billion by 2022, according to PwC predictions.
“OTHERWORLD is the Disney World of the twenty-first century,” said Ed Wardle, Chief Creative Officer, “but it will grow from a world into a universe. Free from physical and spatial constraints, it can provide a limitless number of impossible and exhilarating experiences.”
“When you combine the growth in competitive socialising and the constant evolution of the leisure market with the immense possibilities of immersive technology, it makes this a very compelling business proposition,” said Simon Wheeler, a founding Partner at Imbiba with over 20 years’ of operational and investment expertise. “With a strong proof of concept already in place, Chris and Ed are a great management team that we can’t wait to start working with.” Alex Moore Co-Founder of Rosa’s Thai Café will join the board as Chairman.
OTHERWORLD in Hackney will host fourteen VR immersion rooms, integrating heat, wind, rumble and scent effects which respond dynamically to the experiences. The team plans to expand quickly to major UK cities while enriching its core VR content offering.
The bar will feature a selection of craft beers, wines and cocktails which “strays from the old, beaten track into fertile new ground“. Street food stars Lords of Poké are bringing their vibrant, California-inspired poké bowls and Hawaiian pulled pork to replenish players’ health after their gaming session.
Imbiba has over 20 years’ investment and operating experience as a specialist investor in the UK Leisure & Hospitality market, providing both capital and operational support to some of the most exciting growth businesses in the sector.
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