Facebook announced Tuesday that it has agreed to buy virtual reality headset
maker Oculus VR for $2bn in cash and stock. “There are not that many companies
building technologies that can be the next major computer platform,” said
Zuckerberg, Facebook co-founder, in a conference call with investors. “We are
making a long-term bet that immersive virtual reality will be a part of people’s
lives.” Oculus VR has yet to sell its products in the market.
The deal is comprises $400m in cash and 23.1m
shares of Facebook stock.
"Oculus's mission is to enable you to
experience the impossible. Their technology opens up the possibility of
completely new kinds of experiences," Zuckerberg added. "Immersive gaming will
be the first, and Oculus already has big plans here that won't be changing and
we hope to accelerate."
Oculus's headset, called Rift, today is a visual
device for playing videogames.
The Wall Street Journal says that unlike
WhatsApp, which has 450m users, Oculus isn't yet available to consumers, and the
company hasn't said when it will be available. It currently sells prototype
units to developers for $350.
reports that Spark Capital invested in Oculus VR Inc. in June after the
firm’s partners bought the company’s virtual-reality goggles online. The bet
ended in a 20-fold gain following Facebook’s agreement yesterday to
buy Oculus for as much as $2.3bn, said people with knowledge of the deal.
Spark and Matrix Partners each invested about $19m in Oculus in two rounds last
year, first in June then in December, said the people, who asked not to be
identified because the figures weren’t disclosed. The venture capital firms’
stakes are now worth about $380m each, they said.
Zuckerberg's statement on Facebook
excited to announce that we've agreed to acquire Oculus VR, the leader in
virtual reality technology.
mission is to make the world more open and connected. For the past few years,
this has mostly meant building mobile apps that help you share with the people
you care about. We have a lot more to do on mobile, but at this point we feel
we're in a position where we can start focusing on what platforms will come next
to enable even more useful, entertaining and personal experiences.
where Oculus comes in. They build virtual reality technology, like the Oculus
Rift headset. When you put it on, you enter a completely immersive
computer-generated environment, like a game or a movie scene or a place far
away. The incredible thing about the technology is that you feel like you're
actually present in another place with other people. People who try it say it's
different from anything they've ever experienced in their lives.
mission is to enable you to experience the impossible. Their technology opens up
the possibility of completely new kinds of experiences.
gaming will be the first, and Oculus already has big plans here that won't be
changing and we hope to accelerate. The Rift is highly anticipated by the gaming
community, and there's a lot of interest from developers in building for this
platform. We're going to focus on helping Oculus build out their product and
develop partnerships to support more games. Oculus will continue operating
independently within Facebook to achieve this.
is just the start. After games, we're going to make Oculus a platform for many
other experiences. Imagine enjoying a court side seat at a game, studying in a
classroom of students and teachers all over the world or consulting with a
doctor face-to-face -- just by putting on goggles in your home.
really a new communication platform. By feeling truly present, you can share
unbounded spaces and experiences with the people in your life. Imagine sharing
not just moments with your friends online, but entire experiences and
just some of the potential uses. By working with developers and partners across
the industry, together we can build many more. One day, we believe this kind of
immersive, augmented reality will become a part of daily life for billions of
reality was once the dream of science fiction. But the internet was also once a
dream, and so were computers and smartphones. The future is coming and we have a
chance to build it together. I can't wait to start working with the whole team
at Oculus to bring this future to the world, and to unlock new worlds for all of
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