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HTC is trying to entice venture firms into pouring billions into virtual reality

The Taiwanese electronics maker continues to look to areas outside its struggling phone business.

A man in an Oculus VR headset
HTC faces big rivals in virtuality, including Facebook’s Oculus Rift.
Oculus / Facebook

With its smartphone business continuing to struggle, Taiwan’s HTC is shifting more of its dwindling resources into virtual reality.

In its latest move, HTC said on Wednesday that it has partnered with 28 top venture capital firms to create the Virtual Reality Venture Capital Alliance.

A statement from the electronics manufacturer notes that the member companies have $10 billion of investible capital, which doesn’t mean that’s how much they will plunk down for VR startups. VC firms taking part in the effort include Sequoia Capital and Matrix partners.

“Rather than focusing on VR hardware, we believe Chinese startups can find more opportunities in creative content, vertical applications and entertainment, which aligns perfectly with our investment focus,” Matrix Partners’ Zhuyan Li said in a statement.

Back in April, HTC announced its own $100 million accelerator effort to spur VR development; the company said it has gotten more than 1,200 applications for the four-month program.

Around that time, HTC also started shipping the $799 Vive, its first virtual reality headset.

Once a huge player in smartphones, HTC has seen its market share dip and losses mount amid intense competition from Samsung, Apple and a host of Chinese rivals.

The company has looked to a range of efforts to make up for the lost ground, including a software push that fell flat, as well as virtual reality and a partnership with sporting goods maker Under Armour.

This article originally appeared on Recode.net.

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