Meta (Facebook) buys Within, makers of ‘Supernatural’ VR fitness app – TechCrunch

A day after Facebook’s rebrand as Meta (and the simultaneous and unceremonious drop of the Oculus brand), the company announced it is acquiring Within. The Los Angeles-based company is the developer of Supernatural, a Beat Saber-style workout app. Supernatural is one of the true success stories in virtual reality fitness, with movement-based high-impact cardio exercises.

It’s a sensible acquisition as the company wants to broaden its VR and other aspirations into a kind of metaverse. Undoubtedly, Supernatural has also been a particularly hot item in the past year and a half as more people have looked to home solutions amid widespread gym closures and other exercise restrictions.

“We’re excited because our partnership with Meta means we have more resources to expand and bring you even more music, more creative ways to train, more features and more social experiences for VR. And of course we will still be launching new workouts every day,” Within CEO Chris Milk and Head of Fitness Leanne Pedante wrote in a blog post.

The company adds that the existing staff of coaches, choreographers and managers will remain on board after the acquisition. Supernatural will operate as part of Meta’s Reality Labs division.

“Together, we will also explore ways we can improve future hardware to support VR fitness apps, and encourage other developers to bring new fitness experiences to VR,” Meta’s VP of Play Jason Rubin wrote in a separate post. “We believe fitness will be a huge success in VR, where multiple third-party fitness apps can succeed.

Founded in 2015, Within has raised more than $50 million, most recently a $40 million Series B in 2017. That round was led by Temasek and Emerson Collective. Other investors include Andreessen Horowitz, 21st Century Fox, Raine Ventures, WPP and Macro Ventures.

Financial details of the acquisition have not been disclosed.

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