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November 14, 1995

VENTURE FUNDING

By CBR Staff Writer

Virtual i-O Inc, the Seattle maker of virtual reality headsets, has raised more than $19m in equity venture funding from corporate partners including Tele-Communications Inc and Thomson-CSF Ventures, each of which invested $6m in the company. Planar Systems Inc also invested $2m and agreed to allow Virtual i-O to use its active matrix electroluminescent display panels in a forthcoming head-mounted display product for the business market. The remaining investors are not being disclosed but include a large computer manufacturer and a microprocessor company, the company said. The cash is to enable it to meet backlogged demand for its current product, develop a low-end version to be released in the first quarter of 1996 for use with Sony Corp’s new PlayStation games machine and develop a small, high-performance headset for use with Windows. The company told Reuters it looks to sell 40,000 $600 to $800 virtual reality headsets this year and will be profitable by the end of the year.

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