SoftBank sinks $500M into UK virtual reality startup

Above Herman Narula CEO

"At Improbable we have spent the last few years building the foundational infrastructure for this vision", said Narula.

"SoftBank is a flawless partner for us, with many complementary investments in their portfolio", CEO Hermann Narula said in a statement.

SoftBank managing director Deep Nishar will take a seat on Improbable's board, but the Japanese firm will not hold a controlling stake in the United Kingdom company that was launched five years ago. SoftBank's investment is thought to be the largest ever investment made in a start-up European tech firm and values the company at more than $1bn.

SoftBank founder and CEO Masayoshi Son "is making another big bet - this time on a nascent technology that might take years or decades to bloom", writes Stu Woo for the Wall Street Journal. Improbable claims that its software allows for the creation of larger and more complex world which will eventually support more simultaneously connected users than is now possible. This gives small developers access to the system, allowing them to create huge simulations without the need for dedicated network engineering or any major infrastructure.

Their technology is focused on gaming but the company wants to expand it to solve problems in the real world such as modelling transport systems or power grids. Parts of the website may not work as expected without them.

"The kind of games enabled by SpatialOS - multiplayer games allowing players to form meaningful relationships with games worlds and with each other - will be category-defining and attract new audiences".

For the lead investor, however, the investment is more routine.

More news: Trump to shift courts to the right with slate of appeals nominees

Above: Improbable helps applications deal with massive amounts of data. They are now exploring city management, telecommunications, infrastructure and logistics, cybersecurity, transportation and traffic control and the Internet of Things.

SoftBank managing director Deep Nishar will join Improbable's board.

The firm employs some 200 staff and recently opened offices in San Francisco. Improbable's software, called SpatialOS, can be used to build vast virtual worlds for massively multi-player online games, which can have thousands of players simultaneously interacting.

That's a dose of reality we could certainly use.

Martin Garner, SVP at market research group CCS Insight, said Improbable now needed lots of developers using the platform to build momentum.

Back in March, Narula said that SpatialOS could be used for other applications beyond games, and no doubt that's why SoftBank is interested in the company.

Softbank, meanwhile, are seeking to become a leading investor in technology. (TYO: 9984) and its global portfolio of companies, which includes advanced telecommunications, internet services, AI, smart robotics, IoT and clean energy technology providers.

Related News:

  • Penguins chase Holtby, beat Capitals to take 2-0 series lead

    Penguins chase Holtby, beat Capitals to take 2-0 series lead

    For the second straight game in this series, the Capitals had twice as many shot attempts but were outscored. Pittsburgh LW Carl Hagelin remained out with a lower-body injury that has sidelined him since mid-March.

    China's Xi discusses nuclear issue with new S.Korean president

    North Korea's heightened threat could change Moon's calculus once in power. China denies it has done anything to hurt South Korean businesses.
    Maisie Williams & Anya Taylor-Joy To Star In X-Men

    Maisie Williams & Anya Taylor-Joy To Star In X-Men

    Excited for a New Mutants movie? The New Mutants adapts the monthly comic book series of the same name that launched in 1982. Williams will play Wolfsbane, a girl struggling to reconcile her religious beliefs with her power to turn into a wolf.
  • Huge mysterious sea creature washes up on beach in Indonesia

    Huge mysterious sea creature washes up on beach in Indonesia

    The creature appeared just off Indonesia's Maluku province - some fishermen were convinced it was the remains of a giant squid . A group of marine scientists were reportedly scheduled to take samples of the creature on Thursday, according to Detik .
    Time for Mehbooba to hand over Kashmir to President: Defence expert

    Time for Mehbooba to hand over Kashmir to President: Defence expert

    The situation will improve soon", she was quoted as saying while asserting that every local youth was not a stone pelter. Police said the students threw stones at the security personnel, who baton charged them.
    Chicago police issue bulletin on gangs, high-powered weapons

    Chicago police issue bulletin on gangs, high-powered weapons

    Authorities said more arrests are expected soon and Johnson had a message for the suspects that remain on the loose. On Tuesday, two Deering District tactical officers were shot in the neighboring Back of the Yards neighborhood.
  • Immigration agents aid in arrests of accused gang members

    Immigration agents aid in arrests of accused gang members

    Of the total arrests, 13 were members of Detroit-based gangs, including the Latin Count, 18th Street, Cheddda Avenue and Surenos. ICE says there were 17 total gang arrests made by the D.C. field office, and 35 made by the Baltimore field office.
    Reno teen's plea for free Wendy's nuggets sets retweet record

    Reno teen's plea for free Wendy's nuggets sets retweet record

    As a result, Wilkerson's Twitter following has grown from 138 followers to more than 100,000. Wilkerson didn't make it to 18 million, a record that will have to wait for another day.
    Oreo debuts new flavor, offers $500K for next cookie

    Oreo debuts new flavor, offers $500K for next cookie

    The new limited-edition cookie is your standard Oreo delectableness - but these aren't filled with just any creme center. The cookie with its chocolate wafers on the outside features a cream filling with red and blue popping sweets .
  • President Trump Wants Steam, Dammit, Not This Newfangled Digital Stuff

    President Trump Wants Steam, Dammit, Not This Newfangled Digital Stuff

    General Atomics , the California-based company that got the contract for the EMALS system, didn't respond to requests for comment. It contained an unnerving interview between the magazine's White House correspondent and Donald Trump .
    Israel reportedly strikes arms depot near Syrian capital

    Israel reportedly strikes arms depot near Syrian capital

    As well as weapons, hundreds of Shi'ite militia fighters from Iraq and Iran have been flown to Damascus global airport. It has also carried out a number of airstrikes on suspected weapon convoys it believed were destined for Hezbollah.

    Trump adviser in conflict of interest controversy

    Instead of being able to buy a green card for as little as $500,000, rich foreigners might have to chip in $1.3 million or more . Almost 90 percent of EB-5 visas were issued to Chinese nationals in 2014, when the program reached its quota of 10,000 visas.


Most liked

Klopp assures Liverpool fans of talks with transfer targets
The problem at the top of the table is all competitors are strong and can win games, but we are strong as well. Liverpool manager, Jurgen Klopp, has claimed champions-elect Chelsea have been lucky this season.

Stone vows to cooperate with Senate committee
When asked how he would respond to a White House official saying it had been months, Stone replied "that would be incorrect".

West Ham keen to recruit Man City star this summer — In Focus
Carroll has managed 22 appearances this season and is ruled out for the rest of the season with an ongoing hip and groin problem. West Ham United are unlikely to offer Slaven Bilic a new contract this summer. "It is great, great for both parties", he said.

Trump signs order making agency heads 'accountable' for cyberattacks
President Donald Trump finally signed his long-anticipated cybersecurity executive order on May 11. That provision effectively establishes a single structure centralizing all federal IT networks.

BT to restructure Global Services after 'challenging year'
The committee had made "a number of hard decisions this year in light of these circumstances and exercised its discretion accordingly", Ball said .

WR Josh Gordon's reinstatement denied by NFL
Even if Gordon was reinstated, there is no guarantee that he would wear the number 12 for the Browns ever again. The Browns still control the rights to Gordon, who caught 87 passes for 1,646 yards and 10 touchdowns in 2013.

Michael Flynn Subpoenaed By Senate Intelligence Committee For Records
A January report from the USA intelligence community concluded that Russian Federation did indeed meddle in the election, but Mr. Comey was set to testify before the Intelligence Committee Thursday, but Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe will take his place.

Prince Philip retires from royal duties, says "I can't stand up much'"
Global speculation followed, including a story mistakenly published by The Sun falsely reporting Prince Philip's death. The Queen will continue her public engagements as she has always vowed to serve her country for as long as she lives.

Trump agrees to renegotiate NAFTA with Mexico, Canada
News of the possible US pullout from NAFTA rattled financial markets on Wednesday. "We had a good conversation last night". Trade expert Laura Dawson explains the basic challenge for the US president: He needs other parties to be anxious .

Curry's 30 lead Warriors to sweep after 121-95 win over Jazz
Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors waltzed past the Utah Jazz in 4 games to remain unbeaten through the first two rounds. He didn't travel to Salt Lake City and has been out since Game 3 of the first-round series against the Portland Trail Blazers .

Microsoft is gearing up for an assault on the Amazon Echo
Harman Kardon is a wholly owned subsidiary of Samsung, the same company that just launched Bixby , its own digital assistant. You can also control your smart home devices using voice to do things like turn out the lights or control the temperature.

How will early signing period change football recruiting?
It would also signal an official end to a player's recruitment who has always been committed but has other schools hoping to flip him.

Gunfight between Indian police, rebels kills 5 in Kashmir
Hundreds of people attended funeral prayers of the slain militant today amidst chanting of pro-freedom and anti-India slogans. In the four people killed, police said, one was a cop while two others were civilians and the fourth on was militant.

Oil Gains For The Day, But Drops Over 6% For The Week
He said: "The price dipping below $50 in the North Sea means projects which were being examined will be looked at more closely". And while actual production figures from OPEC members are lower, what's showing up on the market paints a different picture.

Army arrests 12-year-old Pakistani boy along LoC
Insurgents have been fighting for Kashmir's independence from India or merger with neighboring Pakistan since 1989. They chanted "Go India, Go Back", "We Want Freedom" amid a gun salute by militants who joined the procession.