Investment in the nascent technologies has grown continually for the last year and a half

$700m invested in VR and AR during 2015

If VR and AR turn out to be flashes in the pan, it won’t be for lack of backing.

$686 million was invested in augmented and virtual reality technologies last year, according to a new report from Digi-Capital (via Gamasutra).

Last year saw the platforms continuing to gain momentum, with the combined AR/VR sector seeing six quarters (a year and a half) of growth.

In the last quarter of 2015 alone, investment totalled $250 million – at nearly six times the rate of investment experienced in mid-2014.

Video led the category with more than a quarter of all financing. Games was the second-largest area of investment, with solutions and services a close third.

“What is surprising is that AR/VR investments between 2011 and 2015 have returned 128 per cent of all the money invested already,” commented Digi-Capital founder and MD Tim Merel. “Although a huge chunk of that was Facebook and Oculus.

“We’re seeing a high level of deal flow in the market, so there could be some chunky acquisitions this year as major players try to leapfrog the competition.”

Merel added his prediction that the AR and VR market could be worth in excess of $120 billion by 2020.

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