In-Car VR Company Holoride Files for Bankruptcy

Holoride, a German startup known for its in-car VR entertainment, has recently filed for bankruptcy after a critical funding round fell through unexpectedly. CEO Nils Wollny announced on LinkedIn that the company was forced to enter a preliminary insolvency process to seek new investors or owners, or potentially face liquidation. This abrupt development follows months of negotiations that were anticipated to secure Holoride’s future and support the release of new product versions.

Holoride originated as a spin-off from Audi in 2018, aiming to integrate VR headsets into vehicles. Their first product, launched in 2022, included an HTC Vive Flow VR headset and a game controller, designed to synchronize VR experiences with the car’s movements. This innovative system allowed actions in the VR headset to match the car’s motions, enhancing the immersive experience. However, despite its novelty, the product’s high cost and limited utility posed challenges.

In early 2023, Holoride expanded its offering with a more affordable $199 kit for non-Audi vehicles, alongside a monthly subscription for access to games and apps. The company envisioned the technology evolving beyond VR gaming to encompass a broader range of motion- and location-aware content within vehicles, potentially utilizing car features like cabin lights and massage seats for enhanced immersion.

Terranet, a company focused on advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) and autonomous vehicle technology, invested in Holoride in 2021 along with other industry players. This investment aimed to leverage Holoride’s network and explore synergies with Terranet’s real-time vehicle data technology. However, as Holoride’s financial situation became precarious, Terranet and other existing investors chose not to inject further capital, leading to the insolvency filing.

Despite the setback, Holoride’s management is treating the preliminary insolvency process as an opportunity for a potential reset, aiming to attract new investment to continue their vision of revolutionizing in-car entertainment and content delivery.