Immersive VR Education commences on Irish and UK stock markets

Business, Irish News, Technology, UK News | Mon 12 Mar | Author – Business & Finance
sandra-whelan-and-david-whelan-immersive-vr-education
Sandra Whelan, COO and David Whelan, CEO, Immersive VR Education (Photo: Shane O’Neill, SON Photographic)

Immersive VR Education, a Waterford-based start-up, has announced that its holding company, VR Education Holdings plc, has commenced trading on the London and Irish stock markets.

The listing by the virtual reality (VR) software and tech company is the first initial public offering (IPO) for an Irish tech company on the Irish Stock Exchange’s Enterprise Securities Market (ESM) since its establishment in 2005.

Part of the admission process has seen the company raise £6 million (€6.7 million) before expenses. This has been gained through an oversubscribed placing of 60,000,000 new ordinary shares at a placing price of 10p each implying a market capitalisation of circa £19.3 million (€21.6 million) on admission.

Immersive VR Education, founded in 2014 by David and Sandra Whelan, focuses on transforming the delivery and effectiveness of digital education and corporate training and has 21 full-time employees in Waterford.

Founded in 2014 by David and Sandra Whelan, Immersive VR Education utilises leading edge virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) technologies to enhance digital learning through its fully immersive learning and presentation platform, ENGAGE.  The Group’s core focus is the development and commercialisation of ENGAGE for creating, sharing and delivering proprietary and third party VR content for educational and corporate training purposes.  A key feature of ENGAGE is the ability for educators and trainers to use the software to create their own VR lessons and presentations on ENGAGE using VR tools provided by the Group or third parties.

£6 million has been raised to develop further learning and a presentation platform, ENGAGE. This platform is to be rolled out in 2018 and allows educators hold lessons, meetings and presentations.

Early revenue from VR experiences include the award-winning Apollo 11 VR and Titanic VR.

Blue-chip partners include Oxford University, the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland and the BBC.

The CEO of VR Immersive Education, David Whelan, said: “The AR/VR market is growing at a fast rate; as hardware becomes more affordable, this growth will undoubtedly gain further traction and we are at the forefront of this.

“As a VR software and technology group operating in the niche education sector, we provide students, educators and corporate trainers with a real alternative to attending brick and mortar institutes; benefits include cost-savings and course completion rates amongst others. Having raised £6 million and with the support of our new shareholders, our focus is now on strengthening our network of educational institutions and corporations, which already includes the likes of Oxford University and the BBC, and building our sales team to roll out and position ENGAGE as the go-to platform of choice for digital education and simulated training globally. Furthermore, we aim to strengthen our portfolio of compelling content, replicating the success of our revenue-generating, award-winning experiences, including Apollo 11 VR and Titanic VR, whilst also helping others to create content for their own lessons.

“Given the anticipated high volume of activity and steady stream of news ahead, I am confident that we will deliver value to shareholders.”

Richard Cooper, Non-Executive Chairman, said: “The board is delighted that investors have been so supportive of our IPO and the presentations made by the management team over the last few weeks. We look forward to having a regular dialogue with these shareholders over the coming years as the business seeks to rapidly develop its VR education offering.”

VR education was worth $269 million last year and this is forecast to rise to $1.7 billion by 2021.

Prior to today’s IPO, Immersive VR Education had successfully raised €1.3 million from a number of investors, including Suir Valley Ventures, Kernel Capital Venture Funds and Enterprise Ireland.