Virtual reality (VR) business Immotion (LSE:IMMO) sat at 5.6pc on Monday morning after two major concession deals in the US. The firm, which was trading down 2.6pc in spite of the news, has been appointed to install ‘aquatic immersive experiences’ at two large aquariums.
The deals follow the recent release of Immotion’s live-action VR movie ‘Swimming with Humpbacks’, which the organisation claims to have prompted numerous enquiries from related parties.
Monday’s deals will see Immotion install a range of its VR cinematic motion pods on a concession basis at Odysea Aquarium in Arizona and Maritime Aquarium in Connecticut. The outfit said the two sites boast combined footfall of more than 1.5m customers every year. Using the pods, visitors will be able to swim with numerous sea creatures virtually.
The deals will operate on a revenue share basis, which Immotion expects to strengthen its growing recurring revenues. They follow the company’s recently-announced SEA LIFE trial with Merlin Entertainments, which marked its entry into the ‘aquaria sector’.
With more than 200 zoos and aquariums in the US alone, and 2,000 globally, Immotion believes the industry represents an exciting market opportunity. In Monday’s update, the company added that it plans to release additional underwater VR experiences following ‘Swimming with Humpbacks’ in what it calls its ‘Blue Ocean’ series of content.
Immotion’s group commercial director Rod Findley said: ‘We are thrilled to have signed up three major aquariums so quickly after the release of our “Swimming with Humpbacks” VR movie. Demand for immersive ”Edutainment’ is growing, and interest from the zoo and aquarium industry is at an all-time high.
‘Immotion Group can deliver something new and unique to their customers, while also providing valuable ancillary revenue. Working in partnership with larger venues we are able to install a tailored solution at no cost to the venue, rather providing on-going revenue share agreement, creating solid annuity revenues for both parties.”
Meanwhile, director of Immersive Live Action Ken Musen said: ‘We are thrilled to be able to film in VR some of the most amazing ocean creatures. It was a pleasure to film the Humpbacks. What the team has managed to capture is truly amazing. In the next month, we will set off to film sharks, which for way too long have been vilified. This new film will allow our customers to get up close and personal with these majestic creatures.’
Earlier this month, Immotion revealed a total underlying loss of £2.9m in 2018, its first full year of trading. The business put the loss down to investing heavily in the project range since listing in London last July.
Looking forward, the business offered a much brighter outlook in its results. It said it will now be able to more precisely focus its expenditure, leading to a reduction in its cost base and cash outflow. The firm said it will also begin to capitalise on its significant historical investment and activity to propel its operations to the next stage.
‘Having put in place solid foundations, including a comprehensive range of VR experiences, a number of major concession partners, and a growing number of collegiate relationships with major retail landlords, the Group is well poised to start building a strong annuity revenue business,’ it added.