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Interplay Garners $18 Million for Developing Enterprise-Focused Virtual Reality Solutions

Interplay Garners $18 Million for Developing Enterprise-Focused Virtual Reality Solutions
Interplay, an Austin-based 3D and VR platform dedicated to trade workers announced today that it has raised $18 million to further developing its current products as well as venture into new markets.

VR online training

The startup founded by Steve Quirk and Doug Donovan in 2016 provides virtual reality online training for a host of skilled jobs and trades. The digital learning simulation programs of Interplay include electrical, plumbing, facilities maintenance, solar subject matter, and HPVC. The platform offers a range of courses and engagement tools, as well as 3D simulations, knowledge checks, and so on. The span of training allows customers to practice hands-on training and learning programs to make them job-ready. The simulated work-through videos feature several experts who lead the users through the guided procedure, aided with supplemental learning materials and a short quiz after each lesson. Also, at the end of the course, users are given diagnostic testing. The users are to fix the systems without knowing what fault they are working on. Rather, they have to rely on their earlier training.

In addition to VR headsets, the Interplay platform is compatible with smartphones, tabs, and PCs. They offer various roadmaps or learning paths curated for users to learn different skills in their right orders. The platform also allows managers and employers to view the top performers based on their education credits in a given timeframe, as well as administer skill assessment tests using an automated system that generates results instantly.

Using an iPad to complete a course through Interplay.
Using an iPad to complete a course through Interplay.

Increase due to covid

In the field of online learning and training programs using simulation and virtual reality, Interplay has to compete with a number of contenders. Strivr, another company developing a similar platform that enterprises use for staff training has recently reported that they have raised $30 million for venture funding. On the other hand, Talespin too amassed $15 million to develop their “extended reality” platform using AR and VR. However, Donovan stated that the COVID-19 pandemic has acted as an adoption catalyst for Interplay’s solutions and the usage has gone up to 445% in 2020, surpassing the 300% yearly growth rate. As of now, his company has over 2000 users including employees from Tesla and Rheem manufacturing. All of them combined, the training platform now has approximately 15000 monthly customers using Interplay’s training courses for skill development.

Skilled workers

In an email interview with VentureBeats, Donovan remarked that venture communities and edtech innovation companies have long overlooked skilled workers. Most of their investments addressed knowledge skills or digital skills. Interplay, in this regard, is observably in a unique position to cater to the mechanical, electrical, and industrial market.

The Series B funding round of Interplay was reportedly led by S3Ventures and Owl ventures. Venture Reality Fund and Strada Education Network have also participated in the occasion, along with the existing investors of Interplay, including Sierra Ventures, SJF Ventures, Wild Basin Investments, Shelter Capital Partners, and Holt Ventures. The collaboration raised the total funding of the 60-member startup to $25 million to date.

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