Toronto’s 3D content startup Verold has raised its second round of funding, this one a $1.6 million round from GrowthWorks Capital, the Ontario Growth Fund and several angel investors including Daniel Langlois, founder of 3D animation software firm Softimage and Marc Petit, former Autodesk Media & Entertainment senior vice president.
Verold’s “Studio” tool makes it easy for users to create highly engaging interactive experiences, using 3D, video and audio, inspired by offline toolkits like Flash and Unity, but delivered over the web.
Within the funding news, Verold also announced two deals – one with Pearson Education that will see it develop interactive 3D content to improve education outcomes and product marketing effectiveness, and a second with Alexx Henry Studios for Amazon’s first interactive wake screen for Kindle.
“Our mission is to give creative teams new tools to tell engaging stories on the web,” said CEO Ross McKegney. “Compelling and interactive content is a familiar cry from the marketing world, which is why Alexx Henry engaged us but nowhere is this more needed than in the field of education. We are therefore delighted to be working with Pearson Education to push the frontiers of interactivity for educational as well as marketing content.”
For Pearson, the large publishing company has named Verold as one of only ten technology startups for its ‘Catalyst for Education‘ program. The incubator program matches successful applicants with challenges that come from anywhere within the Pearson group. Verold has been tasked with creating an interactive educational experience around Developmental Psychology content. By using dynamic 3D visualizations, the startup said it will help students engage more deeply and learn foundational concepts.
Meanwhile, Amazon recently launched its new interactive 3D wake screen experience for the Kindle, created by Alexx Henry Studios, to promote Relativity Media’s Earth to Echo movie.
Verold’s content engine, powered by Three.js, was used to integrate photo-real 3D scans of the cast with web and video. The result is an interactive journey that blends cinematics with a user/character Q&A session, running in real-time in Verold’s content engine.
“Experiences like this show the true potential of WebGL and how Verold is capitalizing on this,” said McKegney. “This is the future of the web; native performance, highly interactive content, interleaved with the fast pace of web development.”