Social VR pioneer Altspace says it’s shutting down

AltspaceVR, the venture-backed Silicon Valley operation, which was among the first to build social VR environments, said this afternoon that it’s closing down August 3 due to financial difficulties, despite 35,000 monthly users who visited for anything from business meetings, watching sports together, or hanging out with musicians like Reggie Watts–a respectable number given that consumer virtual reality is still a fairly nascent medium.

“It looked like we had a deal for our next round of funding, and it fell through,” the company wrote in a statement. “Some combination of this deal falling through and the general slowness of VR market growth made most of our investors reluctant to fund us further. We’ve been out fundraising but have run out of time and money.”

The company also said it’s not clear what will happen now to its community. “The amazing people that worked at this company created some awesome technology–things that we think will be foundational to the future of social VR. We’d love to see this technology, if not the company, live on in some way, and we’re working on that.”