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VR Education makes bright start on AIM

“If you are going to study marine biology, why not do it from the seabed”
VR headset
Maths homework?

VR Education Holdings Plc (LON:VRED), the first Irish tech company to float in the UK since the dot.com boom made a steady start to life on AIM today.

A learning technology specialist, VR has made a name for itself with 3D re-creations of the Apollo 11 Moon landing and Titanic’s ill-fated maiden voyage.

WATCH: VR Education in right place at right time as online education booms

David Whelan, chief executive, told Proactive that the business had grown from a start-up funded by a €1,000 loan from his sister to a £19mln business in just three years.

VR used the 3D re-creations to showcase its learning platform, where it already has established partnerships with universities such as Oxford, enterprises including the BBC and business training firms.

Education and corporate training in a virtual reality environment are the main markets being targeted.

“If you are going to study marine biology, why not do it from the seabed,” he said.

READ: Sure Ventures readies for the virtual reality revolution

VR shipped more than 100,000 copies of its Apollo 11 VR through the Oculus and Playstation stores.

A key differentiator of its platform is that it enables educators and trainers to create their own VR lessons and presentations.

The founders own 58% of VR, while Irish venture capital group Suir Valley, now Sure Ventures PLC (LON:SURE), has an 8.7% stake.

Barry Downes, Suir’s chief investment officer, also owns a further 9%.

Timing spot on

Timing has aided the group’s rapid rise, Whelan told Proactive.

He cites a film due to be released in two weeks time called ‘Ready Player One’, which is all about virtual reality.

Based on a tech bestseller, the first third focuses on education.

Whelan says he read the book on a trip to the US to see potential investors and just said to them we have that platform already.

VR Education raised £6mln in a placing priced at 10p ahead of the float.

Shares were changing hands at about 11.5p near the close Monday to give a market capitalisation of £19.3mln

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VR Education Holdings Plc Timeline

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