Vrse Raises Funds and Appoints Drew Larner as New COO

    Vrse is the virtual reality (VR) media and technology company behind the successful Vrse Player, an app which houses a collection of high quality narrative and story-driven VR content and brings it to all of the major VR headsets now available, as well as to iOS, Android, and mobile web. We’ve reported before on some of the VR content Vrse’s sister company Vrse.works has produced, all of which is also hosted on the app.

    It’s Vrse’s aim to be one of the leading VR storytelling companies on the market and in an effort to achieve its goals, the company has announced that it’s appointing 20 year media, technology and finance industry veteran, Drew Larner, as its new Chief Operating Officer.

    Larner has a long and impressive history in media and technology; before this appointment, he was CEO of Rdio, the global music streaming service founded by Janus Friis, one of the co-creators of Skype. He worked in this role from the company’s founding in 2008 and left in 2013, though he remains a presence there as Vice-Chairman. Larner was also a Managing Director at Europlay Capital Advisors, a technology and media advisory firm and seed stage investor. And, before joining Europlay, he spent over 12 years as an executive in the motion picture industry.

    “I’m very happy to welcome Drew to Vrse,” said Chris Milk, co-founder of Vrse. “His deep experience in various media industries lends itself perfectly to defining the business of virtual reality media. In his role, Drew will lead efforts scaling our business, and grow Vrse as the premier destination to experience stories in virtual reality from some of the best creators in the world.”

    Larner said he believes that VR has the power to “transform media consumption and the way we experience stories” and that he intended to work closely with the founders of vrse to help them realise “Vrse’s vision to be the leading storytelling company for virtual reality.”

    As well as adding new members to its executive team, Vrse also announced that it took in seed funding, closing in April 2015 from a variety of investors in media and technology such as Andreessen Horowitz, YouTube co-founder Steve Chen, Raine Ventures, WME, Live Nation, Vice Media, Marker LLC., Tribeca Enterprises, Annapurna Pictures, Legendary Pictures, and Elisabeth Murdoch’s Freelands Ventures. It also revealed that the company would, henceforth be named Within.

    VRFocus will follow Within’s progress and its content and bring updates as they become available.