A Leeds-headquartered games studio and virtual reality developer has completed a £1.5m funding round led by Praetura Ventures alongside existing investor ACT Capital Partners.

XR Games was founded in 2017 and specialises in virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) games for licensed intellectual properties.

The company has collaborated with the likes of Sony Pictures Virtual Reality and Rovio Entertainment for console VR games, and has recently released The Angry Birds Movie 2 VR: Under Pressure.

The studio is also set to embark on several new strategic partnerships, including one with an LA-based production company.

Praetura Ventures, which provides capital and support to early-stage businesses across the north of England, has invested from its EIS 2019 Fund and will now work closely with XR Games founder and chief executive Bobby Thandi and his team to support its growth strategy.

The investment will enable XR Games to continue to invest in development and expand its games portfolio through new projects with Hollywood film studios and well-known media and entertainment companies.

The team also includes non-executive director Jason McGann, who co-founded Rockstar Leeds (formerly Möbius Entertainment), where he worked on titles in the Grand Theft Auto and Midnight Club series.

Bobby Thandi, founder and chief executive of XR Games, said: “We are incredibly excited about Praetura’s investment in XR Games.

“Not only do they share our vision for growth, they are committed to supporting our ambitions and can provide strategic support alongside an injection of capital.

“This was a really important factor when choosing our next investment partner and their support represents a significant milestone for our business.

“Together we will be able to grow our team and continue to build partnerships with major movie studios to capture new opportunities moving forward.”

Mark Lyons, director at Praetura Ventures, added: “Virtual reality gaming is a multibillion-dollar industry set to grow significantly within the next five years and as technology continues to advance at a rapid rate, XR Games is well placed to keep pace with this demand.

“Bobby has built a strong business that places consumer experience and client partnerships at its core, and it is a fantastic example of the talent and capability we have here in the north.

“It’s our mission to provide businesses just like XR with the finance and support they need to deliver great things and that XR Games will firmly establish a foothold at the forefront of the VR gaming industry.”

Paul Jefferson and Hannah Silverstone from Gateley Legal advised Praetura Ventures. David Willbe and Georgina Fraser from Lewis Silkin LLP advised XR Games.