Gemba, the corporate VR learning platform, announced it’s closed an $18 million Series A funding round, which the company says will be used to continue expansion into Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and North America.

The latest funding round was led by Parkway Venture Capital, now valuing the UK-based company at $60 million.

In 2017, Gemba grew out of executive training company The Leadership Network, which was founded in 2013 by CEO Nathan Robinson and Chairman Victor Lewis. At the time, The Leadership Network was focused on cross-industry leadership training which, through its executive masterclasses, let senior execs from non-competing companies go hands-on at the state-of-the-art facilities of global giants like Toyota, Tesla, Google, BMW and Amazon. 

Now the company is all-in with VR training platform Gemba, which also still holds masterclasses, albeit in virtual reality. The platform also focuses on immersive skill transfer, including things like on-the-job VR skill training, simulated factory walks, and live training events in VR.

Image courtesy Gemba

Gemba has since worked with 4,000 executives from more than 675 companies, including Philips, Pfizer, Nike and Dell.

Its most recent success story involves Aptiv, a leading automotive supplier. Gemba says its VR training enabled Aptiv to increase skill transfer efficiency by 80% when compared to real-world training programs. In the first year of working with Aptiv, the company also saved $2 million on travel expenses alone.

“As an educator, we know that 90% of learning is about engagement,” says Frankie Cavanagh, Gemba’s Chief Technology Officer. “Gemba allows users to learn and train in a whole new way. With higher engagement levels than traditional teaching and the combination of unprecedented levels of realism and a customized learning experience, it’s a revolutionary teaching tool.”

Gemba says its Series A will accelerate the development of the platform, enabling people and companies to access Gemba on a subscription basis. It’s also set to expand its offering of immersive training simulations, tools and learning experiences, all of which are accessible via online app stores.