Virti raises USD10m in Series A round

Digital training platform Virti has raised USD10 million in a Series A funding round to further its goal of improving human performance using world-class interactive technology. 

The round was led by deeptech investors IQ Capital and joined by Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and a new, UK-based learning technology VC fund.

Launched in 2018 by Dr Alexander Young – an NHS trauma and orthopaedic surgeon – Virti helps organisations optimise learning, training and performance using interactive simulations and AI-powered data analysis. The technology turns traditionally subjectively-assessed skills (such as communication, teamwork and decision-making under pressure) into objective and measurable data to improve performance. The startup was recently named one of TIME’s Best Inventions of 2020 and Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies of 2021.

With the pandemic intensifying the struggle faced by organisations to find engaging and scalable ways to up-skill the workforce, Virti’s deep learning technology is improving training outcomes by up to 230 per cent while supporting individuals and organisations in the global shift towards remote and flexible ways of working. 

The funding consolidates a pivotal period of growth for the startup: as demand for effective remote training solutions accelerated last year, Virti revenues grew 978 per cent and the company’s workforce doubled in size. 

Virti’s cloud-based, no-code simulation creation suite enables organisations to build bespoke training modules that analyse user performance using computer-vision AI and Natural Language Processing (NLP). Organisations can access and deploy their simulations using mobile or desktop devices, or VR/AR headsets. The platform captures data across these three different mediums, applying data-science protocols to analyse, measure and feedback on human performance.

The technology has been deployed in healthcare settings around the globe, to create scalable training opportunities and improve patient safety. It has also been deployed by universities, corporates and public sector organisations to teach soft skills, from crisis management to mindfulness. With in-person training expensive and time-consuming - and traditional teaching methods (such as lectures) proven to be less effective than ‘active’ learning when it comes to knowledge retention - Virti’s technology is helping people acquire knowledge faster and retain new skills for longer.   

Series A funding will enable Virti to continue on its curve of exponential international growth, researching and developing new technologies to improve human performance. 

The funding comes alongside three important new hires for the business. Kurt Kratchman and Mark Ashworth join Virti from Oracle as CRO and CFO/COO respectively. Michael Hernandez, previously at Nearpod, joins Virti as Head of Customer Success. 

Dr Alexander Young, CEO and founder of Virti, says: “At Virti, our goal is to maximise human performance by making experiential learning affordable and accessible for everyone. In-person training has always been expensive with e-learning often unengaging - and research shows that employees forget upwards of 80% of episodic training. Virti exists to help organisations get the very best out of their people, by improving how teams train, learn and perform using scalable deep learning technology with a focus on soft-skills.

“We feel privileged to have both deep tech experts and world-leading educators on our cap table in this round, to help us achieve our ambition of becoming the world’s leading developer and distributor of deep learning and digital training solutions. 

“On-the-job training can be serendipitous, with the learning experience varying significantly depending on where you are, what day it is and who is training you. Soft skills also tend to be subjectively assessed in most settings. We’re providing the tools to help organisations create and distribute evidence-based training, which can be standardised and scaled across organisations and geographies. The data insights our platform generates reduce training variability and generate objective feedback that can aid real-world improvement - with the ultimate goal of improving human performance around the globe.”

Max Bautin, Managing Partner at IQ Capital, says: “E-learning has seen strong growth over the last five years, and Covid-driven shift to remote work has increased demand many times over. Virti’s deeptech experiential learning platform is by far the best in the world. We are privileged to lead this highly competitive round and partner with Alex and his super-talented team to deliver on this exceptional growth opportunity”.