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VR training startup FLAIM raises $6.7 million in Series A funding

The Victorian government’s capital arm, Breakthrough Victoria purchased a minority ownership stake in the company for a sum of $5 million. The venture, which was formed at Deakin University, acquired $6.7 million in Series A funding.

 In order to accurately simulate the strain and unpredictability of real-world fire scenarios, FLAIM Systems has created what is thought to be the very first completely immersive virtual firefighting learning technology ever.

It combines VR headgear with wearable technology, which applies force to give the user feedback and provide a kinaesthetic, realistic experience. This involves replicating a functioning fire hose and a heat garment that replicates the discomfort firemen feel in various firefighting conditions.

The remaining Series A funds came from existing seed investors, including Deakin University, a key stakeholder, in addition to Significant Capital Ventures and FLAIM’s administration and personnel. Simon Miller, the CEO of the firm, has put $1 million into it since the seed phase several years ago.

FLAIM plans to utilise the funds to grow its business, advance its expertise, and add 25 more positions by the year 2026.

As of 2019, FLAIM has customers in over 300 Australian, American, and British emergency services organisations, military, educational, and non-government agencies.

John Brumby, the current head of Breakthrough Victoria and an erstwhile leader of his province, understands the need for instruction for first responders.

Brumby remarked that to keep the city safe, firemen put themselves in danger; the new advancement in virtual reality instruction will ensure their safety while they prepare and deliver the knowledge they require in their field of emergency work.

This innovative Victorian invention is able to be used by emergency responders all across the globe.

After the usage of hazardous chemicals at a Victorian training complex raised the cancer threat for firemen who trained inside, the FLAIM Trainer offers a safe and affordable alternative to teach firemen. In order to assist the about 1,3000 firemen who were exposed to carcinogens while undergoing training at the previous Fiskville staging area, which closed in 2015, the provincial government launched a $57 million restitution programme the year before.

The FLAIM Trainer keeps track of a wide range of performance metrics, including task execution times, air and water usage, anxiety levels, the recruit’s movements and gaze patterns within the set of circumstances, and also how they place themselves in relation to virtual elements like gas metres, wire housings, and the fire itself. It includes 80 unique VR learning situations, including anything from forest fires to flames on aeroplanes, building sites, and housing developments.

Simon Miller stated that the new funding will prepare FLAIM for international growth. According to him, the team sees big potential to monetise FLAIM’s cutting-edge Australian innovation as it works to protect the livelihoods of those who answer to dangerous fires, security, rescue, and extreme circumstances. The yearly cost of firefighter injury problems is estimated by the US Fire Administration to be somewhere between US$1.6 billion and US$5.9 billion in the country alone, and 14% of all injury issues occur during coaching.

Several members of the crew are firemen, notably Chief Technological Officer Dr. James Mullins, a Victorian fireman with experience in robotics innovation and virtual learning tools.

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