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Shasta Ventures Creates New Fund to Help Solve ‘Chicken and Egg’ Problem that Comes with New Platforms

September 19, 2017 08:03 AM Eastern Daylight Time

SAN FRANCISCO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Shasta Ventures, a leading venture capital firm focused on investing in early stage companies, today announced the launch of the Shasta Camera Fund on the main stage at TechCrunch Disrupt San Francisco. This dedicated pre-seed and seed fund vehicle will back visionaries who are developing great ideas into epic products in Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality and camera-first Computer Vision applications. The fund is open to investing up to $100,000 per entrepreneur.

Shasta Camera Fund Launches to Give Early Camera-First Visionaries A Turbo Boost

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“Camera-first technology is poised for astounding technical and market growth,” said Jacob Mullins, principal at Shasta Ventures. “But the earliest days of a new platform often pose a ‘chicken or egg’ problem – creative developers need funding to develop an idea, but because the platform can lack traditional scale, entrepreneurs can struggle to attract funding at such an early stage. Shasta Camera Fund fills that gap.”

Mullins unveiled the Shasta Camera Fund during his fireside chat this afternoon with TechCrunch editor-in-chief Matthew Panzarino. Those interested in applying, can find out more here. Mullins also participated on the panel for TechCrunch Disrupt’s Off the Record (OTR) session on Augmented and Virtual Reality while Shasta Ventures Managing Director Rob Coneybeer joined the Startup Battlefield Session #2 on Monday afternoon. Coneybeer will participate in the conference’s OTR session on Drones, Robotics & Mobility today at 11:15 a.m.

A Seismic Transformation: Computer Vision

Every day, two billion people carry an optical data input device — the smartphone camera — that connects to supercomputers and is informed by massive amounts of data, with nearly limitless context, position, recognition and direction to accomplish tasks. Along with recent advancements in deep learning and artificial neural networks, computer vision is undergoing a seismic transformation. Key components of the computer vision stack are aligning to enable rich application experiences and a robust developer opportunity. And equally important, the potential addressable market is enormous.

This opportunity has not gone unnoticed by tech giants. Beyond leaps in the computer vision market, the Augmented Reality market is rapidly accelerating thanks to Google’s ARCore developer tools and Apple’s ARKit platform bringing consumer AR to more than 300 million iPhones on Day 1. Virtual Reality continues to grow with a number of new platform launches coming in 2017-2018.

“I spent a few years at Microsoft and learned the importance of paying attention to the developer ecosystem, providing them with resources, training and support so they can quickly learn, test and deploy new platform applications,” Mullins said. “At Shasta, our platform is capital and people partnership, so we are here looking for visionary people building epic products.“

Shasta Ventures has deep experience in enterprise software, consumer technology and emerging platforms. From consumer-focused offerings such as Dollar Shave Club, Nextdoor and Smule and enterprise companies like Apptio, Anaplan and Zuora to connected hardware and robotics businesses including Nest, Eero and Fetch Robotics, Shasta backs passionate founding teams to help bring products and services to market and build amazing companies. And because of the firm’s immersion in the VR & AR ecosystem through industry-leading events, like VRTuesday Meetups and ARKitchen office hours, the firm offers a community network and access to platform partners. Shasta Ventures is also scoping dedicated portfolio events with the companies like Apple and Unity to give startups Tier 1 access to the platforms and developer relations resources.

If you’re an entrepreneur working on #camerafirst technology, we’d love to hear what you’re up to: camerafund@shastaventures.com.

About Shasta Ventures

Shasta Ventures is a leading early-stage venture capital firm partnering with bold creative entrepreneurs who are passionate about building epic products and amazing experiences. Founded in 2004, Shasta Ventures has more than $1B under management funding companies specializing in enterprise software, consumer technology and emerging platforms including Anaplan, Apptio, Dollar Shave Club, Eero, Mint, Nest, Nextdoor, Smule, Zuora and more. The firm has offices in Menlo Park and San Francisco, California. Find out more at www.shastaventures.com, or follow us on Twitter at @Shasta.

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