From Left: Orla Rimmington, Partner, Kernel Capital; David Whelan, CEO, Immersive VR Education; Pamela Pim, Head of Bank of Ireland Waterford & Niall McEvoy, Senior Development Advisor, HPSU Dept. Enterprise Ireland.23 March 2017:
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), 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 17 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.
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.
“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
“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
“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
“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.”
Joe Healy, Manager, HPSUs Enterprise Ireland
For further information please contact:
Dawn Walsh, Kernel Capital.
Tel: +353 21 4928974
Notes to Editors:
Immersive VR Education Ltd are a virtual reality software company dedicated to creating quality educational experiences for all students. Since they opened their doors in October 2014, the company has moved in leaps and bounds, releasing a range of educational experiences and winning seven International awards for their educational software. Virtual reality is a new industry, and the benefits both inside and outside the classroom are only now being discovered. The company’s vision for the future is to see virtual reality become a staple tool for education, and they strive to produce quality experiences that demonstrate this.
About Kernel Capital
Kernel Capital is an independent manager of the Bank of Ireland Kernel Capital Venture Funds, comprising of €210m / £165m of funds raised through six separate venture capital funds in the years 2002, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2013 and 2015. These Funds are supported by Bank of Ireland, Invest NI, Enterprise Ireland, University of Limerick Foundation, NUI Galway Foundation and New York State Common Retirement Fund. Kernel Capital is actively investing through the Bank of Ireland Kernel Capital Growth Funds targeting deal size for Kernel Capital’s element in the region of €1m to €5m in the ROI and £0.5m to £2m in NI, either as sole investor or larger deal size in syndication. These 10 year Growth Funds were raised in 2013 and 2015 and invest in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland respectively. Invest NI’s investment in the Bank of Ireland Kernel Capital Growth Fund is part financed by the European Regional Development Fund under the EU Investment for Growth and Jobs Programme 2014-2020. Kernel Capital is a MiFID regulated firm.