Newly-listed Immotion (LSE:IMMO) sat at 12.3p today after announcing that it will roll-out its virtual reality (VR) experience centres in four shopping centres across the UK. The business has teamed up with intu to launch its ‘ImmotionVR’ centres at the shopping centre owner’s sites in Cardiff, Derby, Newcastle, and Uxbridge.
The centres will allow shoppers to take part in virtual reality experiences using Immotion’s VR cinema pods. These include seasonally themed experiences for both Halloween and Christmas and Immotion’s new ‘Delta Zero’ product, which was launched last month and takes users on a virtual space journey. When these new sites open, Immotion will own and operate seven outlets in total, in addition to sites operated by concession partners.
The firm has been busy since raising £5.75m when it listed in July, announcing a partnership with Legoland Manchester and launching an ImmotionVR location in Castleford. It launched in Bristol and Manchester before going public. Shares had dropped 4.8pc to 12.3pc as at the time of writing today, but remain above the 10p they placed at on listing.
Martin Higginson, chief executive of Immotion, said: ‘We are incredibly excited to be working with intu to expand our portfolio of ImmotionVR outlets across its impressive portfolio of some of the UK’s most popular shopping locations. Riding on the success of our existing VR centres, this roll out will positively impact our revenues. We look forward to bringing more high-quality VR experience centres to more consumers across the UK, many of whom are trying VR for the first time, in the coming months.’
Roger Binks, customer experience director at intu, added: ‘Virtual reality has such exciting potential within our portfolio of the some of the UK’s most popular shopping destinations where it could one day become as commonplace as stopping for a coffee with friends. intu centres are focused on creating these kinds of compelling experiences for our customers to enjoy, and we’re excited to provide yet another new brand with a fantastic opportunity to flourish across the UK.’
Immotion is latest in a growing number of virtual reality firms to enter AIM, with other names including VR Education (LSE:VRE) and EVR Holdings (LSE:EVRH). They are looking to take advantage of a recent pick-up in the technology after years of poor uptake.
Gadgets like Nintendo’s Virtual Boy and the Sega VR headset offered early VR experiences in the nineties, but the technology failed to catch the imagination of users and customers were put off by the high price tag. In the years since then, VR has come on leaps and bounds, and gadgets like Facebook’s Oculus Rift and HTC’s Vive are beginning to set the mainstream alight with highly realistic experiences and affordable prices.
Although the size of the global VR market remains modest – it was worth around $14bn in 2017 – International Data Corporation expects it to grow to $143bn by 2020. Likewise, market research company Statista estimates that revenues from the sale of augmented reality, virtual reality and mixed reality devices will rise from $7.2bn in 2017 to $84.7bn in 2020.
Author: Daniel Flynn
The author does not own shares in the company mentioned in this article