German startup Atopia announced a six-figure pre-seed funding from investors such as FOV Ventures and Heartfelt_ (formerly APX) as well as several angel investors. This funding is a critical step in Atopia’s mission to make culture accessible to all through immersive experiences.
“Although over 50% of the EU population would travel mainly for cultural interest, many people are denied this opportunity, e.g. for health or financial reasons,” said Annabell Vacano, co-founder of Atopia. “Atopia is like Netflix for culture.”
Visit sights, museums, and galleries in Cape Town or experience a concert in New York from the comfort of your home. With the help of Atopia, this will be possible in the future – from any laptop or in virtual reality (VR).
According to its founders, people interested in culture can immerse themselves in a limitless cultural offering via any browser or Atopia’s VR app, alone or as a shared experience with friends. The business strategy of the B2B2C platform includes both licensing to institutions and revenue generation on the consumer side: “We create a new source of revenue for art institutions by enabling them to reach visitors all over the world for the first time,” added Vacano.
Atopia’s market entry coincides with the launch of Apple’s new VR headset, which marks a crucial turning point within the XR industry. The signs are good for the founders: More and more people have access to VR glasses, but high-quality applications are rare. Atopia wants to use this opportunity to establish itself early as a market leader in the under-supplied VR app stores.
Established in 2022, Atopia’s founding team combines complementary know-how in management and technology with many years of experience in the cultural industry: Annabell Vacano is a cultural consultant and violinist, Valentin Diehl is a trained historian and has worked in software development for many years.
Thanks to this background, the team was able to win 15 renowned cultural institutions as launch partners at an early stage, among them e.g. the Kunsthalle Mannheim, the Bayerischer Rundfunk, the Berlin Festspiele, the Munich Symphony Orchestra, Gropius Bau Berlin or the Galerie Rüdiger Schöttle.