Tripp Acquires EvolVR to Help More People Fly Up in the Metaverse – TechCrunch

California-based “XR Wellness and Digital Psychedelic Platform” Tripp continues its growth-leading acquisition with the acquisition of EvolVR, the world’s largest VR meditation community, after acquiring a mobile app called PsyAssist last year to preserve people’s psychedelic experiences. According to Plan. The acquisition goes hand in hand with the company and reveals that it is working on an alternative reality (AR) experience as one of the launchers of Pokémon GO maker Niantic’s new toolkit, Niantic Lightship.

EvolVR, founded by a Unitarian universalist minister and meditation instructor, claims to be the world’s first – and largest – living meditation community in VR, and claims that more than 40,000 people wear VR masks to harnesses the power of meditation. Tripp, on the other hand, is not sluggish; The company claims to have served more than 3.5 million wellness sessions, combining “meditation techniques, flow-inducing gameplay, binaural sound and breathing exercises” to inspire users while transforming their feelings. Sessions are designed to help people relax and tune in, but can also be used to facilitate psychedelic travel.

Increasing your audience by acquiring community-based organizations can be a great vector for growth – but of course not all communities are passionate about “buying,” especially if the buyer is experiencing a transition period. I talked to Tripp CEO and founder Nanea Reeves to get a little more context for the acquisition and to find out what’s going on in a company’s highly dynamic VR / meditation / spirituality / psychedelic mix.

With a name like Tripp, I had to ask; where did this come from and what is the connection with psychedelics?

“It’s less about psychedelics and more about VR than experience. When I had an early development kit for Oculus, anytime someone had a VR experience, people took off their headsets and said, “Wow, that was a trip!”. There is something around experiencing the current reality and being aware of it – and then experiencing an alternative reality. Obviously this can be with the materials as well, but VR itself has this mechanism as well. That inspired the name, ”Reeves explains.

Nanea Reeves, CEO and founder of Tripp. Image sources: Tripp

“On the psychedelic side, we were found after we launched our consumer product. The psychedelic community has shown a great deal of interest in what we do, and we have seen that our consumer product has taken over organically, for example, in ketamine clinics. We decided to consider this as our trip to clinical areas. We believe there are ways to do clinical deployments [in palliative care and psychedelic treatments] with a much more focused effort on how to prepare someone for a treatment to reduce their anxiety and how to support them after the treatment. ”

“We have a separate initiative and an application suite called PsyAssist that targets the protocol for psychedelic and mental health. We can be a support tool in these areas. We are currently embarking on some pilot studies on ketamine in the first two quarters of this year.

“We found that our most significant interactions with consumers were with people who used our product at the end of their lives. Not only did they find it advantageous to have a container or to divert their attention from what they were physically experiencing – families and caregivers could also use the Tripp experience to relieve stress. When we get feedback from users who report on how our toolbar and app have helped them in different ways, as an entrepreneur, you can’t wish for more; to know that your efforts are really making a difference for people.

Acquisition of EvolVR

The company amassed a $ 4 million round led by Mayfield and then a $ 11 million round led by psychedelic life sciences investor Vine Ventures and Mayfield last June. The company plans to double-track the clinical side and community building for transformative experiences. Acquiring EvolVR is an obvious part of the social side of the equation.

Tripp is working with the Niantic Lightship platform to create an AR product that will launch in late 2022. Picture: Tripp assured him

“I must have known the EvolVR community; I met people at VR and Jeremy was constantly mentioned [Nickel, founder of EvolVR]. I didn’t think it would require so much to meditate with avatars in a group, but I went and tried some of their meditations, especially during the epidemic. I liked the fact that they had a guided meditation experience that made me feel the presence of other people doing it with me, ”Reeves explains. “When I was at Electronic Arts, I knew how toxic gaming communities could be and how unfriendly they were to women. What I saw in EvolVR was a meditation team leader who created a safe space. They knew how to moderate the group so that they were impressed. Even when the trolls showed up, they were ineffective. Although the metaverse is expanding, it is important to have zones where it is free from harassment. We can create these attentive resting spaces that create a deeper connection with ourselves and others. ”

“Jeremy and I kept it [the acquisition] quiet. He thinks his community will be excited about this and we need to communicate with his 14 meditation leaders because they too will be under our umbrella. We’re trying to think about what a conscious metaverse looks like. ”

How will EvolVR change as a result of the acquisition?

“I hope I can celebrate this occasion. I thought we could have an ambient music DJ event and a kick-off party from our two communities. We’re excited to do something really cool, ”says Reeves. “FrBased on programming considerations, I want to go beyond group meditations. We want to do sound baths. We will breathe. We have some ideas on how to create ambient music “extatic dance” movement events. It’s a great opportunity to use VR’s abstraction to help release a community. Perfect use case for VR: bypasses the stigma, you can do it in your own home. It’s a less embarrassing thing and you can still benefit from it. ”

I tried the Tripp platform. It gets a little used to, but very reassuring. I’m not in the picture. Picture: Tripp assured him

“I am very pleased with how wide it is [Tripp’s] the audience is. Most of our audience is millennial, and Generation X is a very large second group. About 8% of our audience is 65 years of age or older. VR is still a shared tool, and we see it being used throughout the household, and we see evidence that people use Tripp, for example, before completing their homework to help them focus. Finally, we expect most people to have a head-mounted display capable of data transfer in the future. Ideally, we want to be a supportive toolkit to help you manage your emotional well-being. From here, we can target use cases such as addiction or palliative care. The main benefit, in fact, is how we help you be self-sufficient over your current emotions. ”

“We are seeing that with the current generation of voice-only meditation applications, people are increasingly looking for solutions. I think we can help you move to the next level where you can experience the states of being. My goal would be to be a regular self-care toolkit that you can access when you need it and need ongoing help. ”

The acquisition was a combination of cash and equity, but Tripp does not disclose details of the transaction.

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