The Bank of Ireland Kernel Capital funds & Suir Valley Ventures lead €1m investment in Waterford VR Company Immersive VR Education Ltd
Kernel Capital through the Bank of Ireland Kernel Capital Venture Funds and Suir Valley Ventures have led a €1M investment in Immersive VR Education Ltd. (IVRE), a developer of VR (virtual reality) software and immersive experiences with a specific focus on Education. Enterprise Ireland also participated in the round.
A spin-out from WIT’s research-based Telecoms Software and Systems Group (TSSG), IVRE’s platform provides virtual reality content that can be used in schools, colleges, universities, research centres and corporate training to teach any subject in a virtual environment allowing students to fully immerse themselves in the experience, making hard to visualise concepts easy to understand.
Last month, the Company took home two HTC Viveport Developer Awards adding to their 5 other international awards. IVRE won awards for their Engage Platform and Apollo 11 VR, which uses archive footage and audio from NASA to relive the historical moon landing of 1969. Apollo 11 launched in April 2016, with initial sales of 50,000+ copies on the Oculus and Steam stores.
The founding husband and wife team David and Sandra Whelan have succeeded in attracting high calibre VR talent from around the world and currently employ 20 at their offices in Waterford. This investment will enable IVRE to accelerate its growth plans. The Company is currently collaborating with Oxford University and the Royal College of Surgeons to develop VR-based training programmes for medical professionals.
“This investment from Kernel Capital and Suir Valley Ventures will allow us as a company to continue to grow, continue to hire and expand beyond our current capabilities. Virtual reality is such an exciting, new and emerging industry with many new opportunities. It’s great to work with such an established institution such as Kernel Capital with their proven track record of bringing early stage companies to fruition. We are very lucky to have them on board as partners on this journey to a new digital virtual world.”
David Whelan, CEO, Immersive VR Education Ltd
“Virtual Reality is playing an increasingly important role in the evolution of education and Immersive VR Education is at the forefront of this change. IVRE has gained excellent market traction with their first VR experience Apollo 11, and this investment will help them to achieve scale and bring innovative new products to market.”
Orla Rimmington, Partner, Kernel Capital
“Suir Valley Ventures is delighted to invest in Immersive VR Education LTD as they are a leader in the field of Virtual Reality experiences and education. Immersive’s “Apollo 11 VR” experience is a multi-awarding winning interactive journey to the moon and back that demonstrates clearly the power of virtual reality to educate and inspire and this will be followed this year by “Titanic VR”, an expansive and highly detailed educational experience and realistic recreation of the Titanic disaster. In addition, Immersive’s “Engage VR” is the leading virtual reality education platform in the market and we are excited to support the growth and scaling of the company through this investment.”
Barry Downes, Managing Partner, Suir Valley Ventures
“The Bank of Ireland Kernel Capital Seed & Early Stage Equity Fund continues to support innovative, high growth, technology focussed companies that are addressing key challenges to national competitiveness on a global scale. Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality are key themes for Bank of Ireland Innovation activities in 2017, along with blockchain, Smart Cities and Artificial Intelligence. Immersive VR Education links industry and academia by developing an extremely practical, visual experience delivered by sector experts. Bank of Ireland plays an active role with a number of educational institutions through funding, facilities and mentoring initiatives so this investment is particularly appropriate.”
Donal Duffy, Director, Corporate Banking Ireland & UK
“Enterprise Ireland has worked closely with Immersive VR Education from the early stages of their development when they secured Competitive Start Fund investment. Since then the company has made exceptional commercial and technical progress, developing world leading technology in Waterford, and winning global awards in the Virtual Reality industry. Immersive VR Education is a great example of a highly innovative Irish company with global ambition, and Enterprise Ireland looks forward to continuing to work with them as they expand and scale in international markets.”
Joe Healy, Manager, HPSUs Enterprise Ireland