Deep learning startup Virti has raised a $10m Series A to improve human performance through immersive ‘XR’ training and AI-powered data analysis – including in medical settings.
Founded by an NHS surgeon, Virti builds VR/AR simulations that improve how people learn, train, and perform. Their revenues grew 978% last year as organizations looked for new ways to train and engage remote workers during the pandemic. They were named one of TIME’s Best Inventions of 2020 and Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies of 2021.
The round was led by deep tech investors IQ Capital – full release below. Let me know if you’d like any more info.
Good morning and welcome to This Week in Digital Health. Our guest this week is Alex Young from Virti. Alex, how’s it going?
Really great! Thanks so much for having me on. It’s been a very exciting time for us. We just closed a Series A investment round for Virti; sort of in scale-up mode, so lots and lots going on to answer your question.
So, tell us a bit of your background and why you launched Virti.
Sure. So, my background: originally I trained as a doctor and did trauma and orthopedic surgery in the United Kingdom in the National Health Service (NHS)and, when I was training, I had a couple of companies in the education space and then left clinical practice around about two and a half, three years ago to found Virti back in 2018 with a mission to revolutionize how any workforce, but particularly the healthcare workforce, learns, trains and performs on a mission to transform how experiential learning is scaled and consumed by doctors, nurses any healthcare professionals on the front line. And one of the reasons that I was very passionate about that mission was because having worked in the NHS, which is one of the biggest employers on the planet, there’s a vast amount of people who work very hard; whether it’s nurses, doctors, auxiliary staff, you name it, who often either don’t have time for training or who don’t receive the best methods of training possible. So, for something like surgery, which I did, it’s very serendipitous that you will receive teaching or training, depending on what day of the week or which hospital you visit. So, someone who sees some very unique operations will be more adapted to performing them than someone in a smaller hospital, or a different country, or a different time zone. So, one of the key things I want to do with Virti created this on-demand experiential training platform that allowed people to access content regardless of where they were geographically standardized training and make it a lot more data-driven by understanding how people perform at scale organization. And that’s sort of what we started building back in 2018.
And how did that sort of shift? Because I know that the product includes extended reality and A.I. So, you’ve moved a long way from building a platform for that.
Yes. Absolutely. The appetite from day one was how we could take existing in-person training and scale it digitally while collecting data points on how people learn and train to predict how they will perform when it matters in the workplace. And in healthcare, there’s a lot of patient safety linked to that. So, if doctors and nurses can be shown to be safe and up to date with the latest training standards, any adverse events can hopefully be avoided. There’s also an element of reducing things, like burnout, by ensuring that doctors and nurses are better prepared for when they go into a high-stress environment; so, a little bit of performance coaching.
And do they do that in the virtual environment first?
Exactly. So, in terms of the technology, what we started building out originally was very much like a performance dashboard for the workforce. So, if you think along the lines of a learning management system, you’re on the right track; and that then allows educators or trainers or I.T. staff to use some no-code tools to create either video-based training or computer-generated extended reality training. And then, for the actual users, the learners, the healthcare professionals, they, from their mobile device, from their desktop computers or their V.R. or A.R. headsets, can be put into these on-demand repeatable training scenarios; like assessing a patient under pressure who comes into the emergency room or breaking bad news and practicing soft skills in these very realistic high-pressure environments. And what our system can then do is look at decision-making, look at leadership skills, and look at soft skills, like communication, using some of the A.I. components. And that then is transformed into a score that allows for comparison between individuals and for organizations and trainers to see which areas of their workforce is best trained. Who might need a little bit more help, and what specific skills might they be lacking?
And when you launched Virti, what support did you get? Did you go through an accelerator? Did you know? How did you develop the MVP?
Yes. So, we originally very much bootstrapped it. I’m based in Bristol in the United Kingdom and built a very small tech team around about four or five people; initially, when we launched back in 2018 but got some pre-seed investment from some investors in San Mateo in Silicon Valle, and, actually went out there very early, when we were building the technology. Seeing the U.S. as one of our major markets, in terms of health care and beyond, we subsequently started making sales quite quickly, which is a little bit unusual for a very early stage company. We saw that we had a product-market fit. We then started scaling up, so we went through an accelerator in the Texas Medical Center, one of the biggest arenas on the planet regarding the concentration of hospital systems. That was an equity-free, very value-driven, and competitive program to get onto. So, we’re fortunate to get onto that. And back in the U.K., we also go on to a similar equity-free program through the NHS called the National Innovation Program, which takes evidence-based companies that help healthcare organizations to tackle several different issues through digital technology. So, both in the U.K. and in the U.S., we had lots of access to different markets, different areas, and we’re able to scale up and build our sales teams around those bases.
And then I noticed that you mentioned equity-free twice. So how important is it to you as a founder to preserve your equity?
Yes. Hugely. And I mean I think to anyone listening who’s starting in a digital technology company; especially like myself as a solo founder, I do not believe so giving away too much certainly at the beginning of your journey is essential; because that helps you to maintain your autonomy and maintain your decision-making at later stage investment rounds. So, we were very cautious on that, and, I think, part of that was because of my previous companies. I had bootstrapped around my job as a trauma orthopedic surgeon without giving everything away. And I was probably doing far too much and learning lots and lots, which was great, but with Virti, I didn’t want to initially give away a considerable amount. And then we were very fortunate with subsequent investment rounds that we always had revenue. We always had product-market fit. We always had traction, which meant we could run very competitive investment processes.
We’ve had a client come to us looking to raise money, and they had already given away 15% of the company to advisors. I can’t do anything with that. So I was very keen on the fact that you mentioned: equity-free and preserving that from lessons learned.
Right. Absolutely. I think for anyone listening, as you say, Mike, there’ll always be times where you feel stressed. You think you need something to move your company forward, especially when you’re just an idea on paper. And it can be easy, or seemingly easy, to say I’m going to give away some equity to an advisor, to y an accelerator program, whatever it is, and then assume that it’s going to help you massively. But, still, the thing that will massively help you the most is simply rolling up your sleeves, building a rock-solid foundation, getting your tech and product-market fit from day one, if you can, and there are these equity-free programs, like I mentioned, out there. So you need to find them and then maximize any benefit from them.
And then, when you went out to raise your Series A, how many investors did you end up talking to?
It’s an exciting process. So, I originally booked out almost six months of my diary where I was going to be almost out of the business, which is quite challenging, as a solid founder, to get that done and get it raised, and, when I started planning the process, I expected to speak to between 50 to 100 investors; some of whom we already had on our investor updates list. Unfortunately, some of whom we knew were going to be reaching out were too cold, and because of the state of the business, we’d grown very quickly. So, we scaled up around a thousand percent in 2020; mainly in the U.S. What ended up happening was, without me expecting it, we had lots and lots of interest in the round, and it ended closing in around about four to six weeks rather than four to six months. So, it was pretty crazy. No. It was nuts. I mean, I still ended up speaking to probably around about 30 to 40 people in a defined period; and then quickly moved to the investors who we were very interested in; who we felt wholly understood our mission, our goals and could help us in terms of either hiring or scaling up, and introductions for revenue.
And were you doing this during the covert lockdown period?
Yes. So that in itself was interesting. When I’d raised our seed investment round back in 2019, much of my time was spent on a plane or on a train or some transport to go to meetings and meet people. That in itself is hugely time-consuming and, for the seed investment round, I again probably spoke to around about 50 to 100 people, probably more. So, for this one, because it was during the pandemic, absolutely all of my investor coffee calls and meetings were done over zoom. So, I usually based split my time between the U.S. and the U.K. through 2020. I was fully in the U.K. because of the pandemic. So, I was doing calls deep into the night in some cases depending on what time zone investors were based in, but it was efficient because you could get through many meetings. I think that accelerated the process. I think the downside to that is you lose the rapport of going and meeting people and speaking to them, and certainly when you’re down to probably10 or so investors, who you like, and they want you, it is crucial to still go and speak to them. So, I was reasonably fortunate in that in the U.K.; there was a period just before Christmas in 2020 where travel opened up; even if it was just for about three weeks before they closed things back. And I was able to go and again meet a lot of these folks in person before I made a final decision.
And why is it so important to like the investors? It’s money, right?
I think there are a couple of factors here. So, I think, firstly, they are going to be part of your team going forward. So, if you bring someone onto your cap table, it’s very unlikely that they’re going to disappear or, if they’re sitting on your board, you’re going to be speaking with them at least six times a year, probably more. So, just getting on with people who support you is hugely important, especially as the company’s founder, where things are not always going to go well. We were very fortunate in that we were on a significant uptick, but at some point in the future, I’m sure we’re going to have some problems you run into. So, we want people who will support you through the thick and thin and have your back and focus on the mission. The other component that we were looking at was we wanted someone who understood the technology. So, as you mentioned, we use A.I., we use extended reality, which itself is quite technical, quite complicated. And some pure financial venture capitalists might not understand that and, therefore, they might make assumptions and, again, they might not be able to support you in the best way possible. So, we were really after someone who got the mission, who understood the technology, who we got along with, and we were very fortunate in I.Q. Capital, which ended up being the lead investor. And we also had Cedar Sinai in Los Angeles participate in the round following on from our seed round. So, having some great people on our board who make the process fun, which, for me, was an essential thing; because that’s what building a company should be about. And what we saw was an explosion of funding in the digital health space as a result of COVID.
Did you think you benefited from that?
Yes. It was exciting. So, back in 2019, our marketing spiel was all about how do you digitize in-person training? Or why are you spending so much time and money on doing in-person training when you can reduce the time, reduce the cost, improve the data by digitizing a lot of that? I was out at Cedar Sinai in Los Angeles in February, March of 2020, when California went into a stay-at-home order and lockdown, and it was very interesting. We were initially doing a lot of generic healthcare training. So, things like line insertion for nursing staff, things like communication skills for doctors and nurses, and then suddenly we had to align to the hospital’s pivot and how do we update their team around how to put on protective equipment; how to communicate and deal with patients with the covert so protection requirements that were going on, and giving everyone listening to an idea of what that looks like in everyday practice, all the doctors and nurses, which is ten to twenty thousand staff, had to come down to a physical environment and be physically shown how to don and off protective equipment; how to enter and exit a room when you go in and see a patient, and that’s incredibly inefficient, and it’s just a one-off episodic piece of training where people come down. They quickly put it on. They get signed off, and then they leave, and then they’re expected to do it properly when it matters. So, we were very humbled to s be able to help seeders. Many other organizations digitize a lot of that to improve the efficiency of that flow through training, but all of the healthcare staff had the training on-demand on their mobile phones for just-in-time training to ensure that they were safe. They could do it properly and reduce anxiety levels because they think back to when things kicked off and got serious with the pandemic. There was a lot of anxiety in the healthcare workforce around what happens if I get infected if I don’t don and off my protective equipment properly. Am I infecting other patients? Am I going to get infected? Am I going to go home and infect my friends and family? So, that gives you an idea about what we were doing and then absolutely with the broader training push through 2020. We were able to help multiple organizations and hospital systems scale up things like their soft skills training when you couldn’t do in-person role play and stuff like that. And then ended up being featured on the NASDAQ tower in Times Square back in May of last year, which was fantastic for some of the work we did with the frontline healthcare workforce, which was brilliant.
Talk a bit about the metrics you’re capturing and the feedback that you’re offering, and why is that so important?
Yes. Great question. I think I always liken it to when I was training or when I was practicing things like soft skills or communication skills. So, something like breaking bad news to a patient is incredibly important and, if it’s done poorly, it can lead to a very negative patient experience with the whole healthcare system. And so how that’s delivered typically in practice in person is often using role-play with actors or actresses, and a healthcare professional would come in, they would practice a role play. Then, they would go away and hope they remembered some of that. What we want to do and what we have done with some of our analytics is by digitizing that with things like computer-generated avatars, where you can converse with an avatar in a virtual reality headset or on your mobile device, the A.I. will analyze people’s conversation, will examine the decisions they’re making; even analyze things like that the eye contact. When we use some of the headsets that have eye-tracking and stuff like that, we can pull in a huge amount of data, which often in an in-person setting is just lost or subjectively fed back on by an observer. And so, with all that data, we can then put it into a scoring system, which allows the trainers the organization to see what the standard is across all of their employees in terms of things like soft skills for these different domains, like breaking bad news, leadership or decision making, so that’s soft skill stuff we capture and then on the more technical skill side, like surgery. We’re interested in human factors. So, a lot of the video-based training we do, there are decision points in the videos at points where the operation might diverge, depending on what the learner chooses. And we can track the speed of those decisions. Why they’re choosing those decisions and, again, collect all that data and compare it across individuals.
And are these platforms, or are these services? Are they reimbursable?
Yes. It is an essential part of the ROI for these organizations. Firstly, we try and get to payback in under 12 months or as early as six months as we possibly can do for organizations. And a couple of the ways that we do that is that by digitizing your training, you can significantly reduce the length of, say, an in-person course that you might do to reduce faculty time. It will reduce the spending on the venue. Still, more importantly, a lot of the data we track when we launch with new customers is about employee engagement and reduced things like anxiety and people feeling bad or unprepared to enter a hazardous environment. And there are lots and lots of data that we’ve got from our independent research. So, we’ve done a couple of randomized control trials with the NHS back in the U.K. We’ve shown that the retention of information after a learning session, using our system, is significantly better than either in-person training or certainly just watching a video or reading a textbook. And what that then means is for an L&D professional in a hospital or a simulation center lead, if you are allocating a budget to each of your staff or employees for the year, and they forget stuff, you’re already losing quite a lot of that money. So, with Virti, what we do is we’re able to help people maximize any return on training investment and make their workforce better prepared for when it matters.
And when they’re better prepared, I’m assuming this will reduce the anxiety impact, the burnout that they’re experiencing, and then aid towards retention. Would that be correct?
Right. We plug into H.R. departments, and I think one thing that’s often forgotten is for real kind of high-performing individuals. Like anyone in the healthcare workforce, they don’t necessarily want to be showing their worth through big pay packets or remuneration, although that’s very nice. Often the best way to incentivize high performers is through education and giving them the best training possible. And a lot of healthcare professionals and residents will go to the hospitals with the best training or the highest exposure to unique cases and things like that when choosing their residency programs. So, you’re right. It forms part of that hiring and retention process, as well as that employee’s well-being element.
And so you were able to demonstrate the dogs were eating the dog. Period. You had this great success with early adopters, and then you sought your Series A. What are your plans with your funds? What do you hope to accomplish with the new money?
When we decided to raise the Series A, there were three key things: expanding our c-suite. So, as a solo founder, I wanted to bring on some good people who could help scale the company and run strategic elements that I was doing everything through 2019 to 2020. We then wanted to expand our whole team. So, we’re originally a team of probably around 14 to 15 people through most of 2020, doubling or trebling that in size over the next 12 months. Then the final piece was bringing new products to market and accelerating some of our tech developments. So, we’ve already bought out a couple of new things over the last six to 12 months, such as these computer-generated avatars that you can practice soft skills with. And we’re going to be bringing out more components to the overall platform that helps the workforce to get the best out of themselves.
And will you focus expansion on the U.S. or stay in the U.K. or go through Europe? What’s your plan?
Yes. It’s the original plan.
Which never lasts, apparently, right?
Yes. Exactly. I was going to say the classic phrase, “plan’s only good until you get punched in the face,” right? So, the original plan was to scale up in the U.S. state by state in a very focused manner, but because of what happened during our 2020 year, we’ve had people from all over the world reach out. So, we’re now quite aggressively scaling up in the UAE, APAC, and the U.S. around healthcare and some difficult and different verticals to help employees again reduce stress and maximize their performance.
And in doing such a huge expansion, how do you control that you’re talking about different cultures? You’re talking about different environments. We’re talking about various regulations. So. how do you manage that kind of expansion?
Yes. It’s an excellent question. So, I think the first thing to say is that education, specifically healthcare education, is relatively similar across most geographies. So, unlike patient-facing things where there are many different regulatory bodies and stuff like that, learning development is relatively identical with a few distinct differences. But, still, nothing too challenging to overcome, I think, in terms of scaling our workforce. That’s one thing that we’re very passionate about. So, when I built Virti, I didn’t just want to hit our mission of revolutionizing human performance for any employee anywhere. I also wanted to create the best working environment where people would come and work for us, level themselves up, and learn and grow themselves as individuals, building a solid company culture. So, now that we’ve got employees in the U.S. and Europe and even in places like New Zealand and all over as a purely remote company. So, we’ve got a solid company culture: be bold, be fast, be amazing. That aligns everything and everyone to our mission and what we do. And I think that’s helped tremendously as we’ve been scaling up very quickly, especially over the last three to six months, where we’ve doubled the team size in a matter of months.
So, I think that that’s a really good tip for anyone listening, which is to make sure you get the foundations of your alignment and company culture in place before you start scaling.
And when you were talking to investors in the U.S., was there any pressure to relocate?
No. Not really. For us, even before the pandemic hit, we were fully remote. So, I was on a plane most of the time, flying around the U.S., flying back to Europe. We were hiring people in the U.S. and the U.K. We’ve got a U.S. company and a U.K. company. So, we always felt like we were a remote-first organization, and I think with what’s happened during the pandemic, that is something that lots and lots of people appreciate much more because of everyone working from home. So, whenever we’re speaking to anyone in the U.S., there was no pressure to relocate. There were no worries about us being a U.K. company and me having a Harry Potter English accent.
So what I was going to ask as we’ve heard some counter to that, right? Because I think the folks at Apple said “no.” You can only do innovation by bringing people back physically together. So how would you respond to that, especially around innovation?
I think there’s a real balance, and it just depends on how you do it and how your people operate. So, in terms of the engineering team at Virti. So, the engineering team is super talented. But, to get the best people possible, we wouldn’t assume that everyone is originally from the same area and, equally, wouldn’t make everyone move to the same place if their circumstances prohibited that. So, some of the things we do in terms of innovation empower all our employees to take around about 20 minutes of their time to work on fun projects, a little bit similar to what Google did and 3M before them. So, it stimulates personal development, innovation, and learning from working on kind of fun side projects. The other thing we do is we get everyone together very regularly in our weekly cadence. So, we do a Monday and Friday kind of stand-ups with the Friday one reflecting on the week. And then, we do daily check-ins and team meetings, and people are aligned to what they need to do and the product roadmap. But, then the other thing to say on that is we don’t preclude people meeting up in person. So, we try and get everyone together in person once a month or more frequently, depending on what quarantine conditions allow really. So, I think having that balance in that mix is critical, but, yes, I would never say that people have to be in the same space all the time. I don’t think that’s true. I think if you’ve got a very focused roadmap, you’ve got talented people, and you allow for creativity and innovation to spark asynchronously, you can get around that.
So, a lot of the tools that you’re using sound like Agile and Scrum. How important is project management to build this out?
Yes. Hugely. So, again we’ve been fortunate. A lot of our engineering team comes from games development backgrounds where all the principles you just mentioned come naturally. I have done tech development in my previous companies, where I was the only employee or one of a handful of employees that comes to me very naturally. So, one of the things that we did pretty early on was rather than using things like OKRs as an alignment tool so objectives and key results, which come from Google, we wanted to empower our people to be creative, to own everything they do in terms of project management aligning to the overall roadmap. So, we trademarked our alignment tool called the Virti operating system or vos2, which roughly aligns everyone to their vision and values, their objectives, their obstacles, and their strategy and specific metrics; with the specific metrics being most similar to the traditional kind of OKRs and project management tasks. And that then maps to the teams. And, so, that means that anyone that comes into the company immediately gets a perfect idea of where they fit in what value they add, what they need to do, and when they need to complete projects by in terms of quarterly cadence; and that’s just worked phenomenally well for us in that remote working environment.
So, my last question for you is, do you still practice medicine?
I don’t; unfortunately, not anymore.
Is your mother disappointed?
Yes. On a serious point: that was a very challenging conversation to have. I’d practiced orthopedics for about six years, been through med school, and done surgical training in total for nearly 12 years.
Now you want to do a startup. That must have been a great call.
Yes, crazy. And, to make matters worse, my parents are not entrepreneurs. They don’t come from business or startup backgrounds themselves; so, quite traditional jobs. My mum’s a retired school teacher, so that was a challenging conversation, but I think for me, where I was in my training, I was very close to finishing it. I was so passionate about the mission at Virti. I just felt if I got to be 35 or 40 or whatever, and I hadn’t pulled the trigger on this main thing I would be worried about was just what might have happened. What could have happened so that fear of missing out rather than me like not like working as a health profession, which I loved; particularly orthopedics. I still love it. I think it’s the best specialty. That was the driving force and, I believe, if you want to go and run a tech company and, specifically, for me, was a lot of the driving force was about the mission and me learning how to do many things. We talked about how to raise investment, how to scale our team, how to build a company culture. I’m a learning nerd, and that’s what gets me up out of bed in the morning excited. And, so, when I put all those reasons down, I just thought I have to do this. Yes. It’s a huge decision. I miss operating, and I miss the camaraderie of working in a team in fast-paced environments and helping patients, but what we’re doing at Virti has the potential to massively impact people on a global scale, which is the thing that excites me.
And, as a founder, the role can be all-encompassing. So how do you take a break? What do you do to shift out of work mode if you do?
Yes, it is hugely important. And I think there are two things. So, firstly, I’m always dressed in sports gear for anyone who might not be watching this and just listening on audio.
You’re doing product placement for Nike. Thank you.
Exactly. My way to relax is to get to the gym, go out, do cross-fit, do some sports with my friends, and do things like that. So, I think that’s hugely important and making sure that you fit in time around your busy founder schedule to do something like exercise; to make sure you get your seven-hour sleep per night. And you feel energized in the morning is essential, just from a self-care point of view. I think the other thing also to consider is perspective. I guess coming from my background in terminal orthopedics, where I would be if I was on call or working like a 72-hour shift or something like that, I might be woken up at four in the morning to do an operation on someone who’s come through the emergency department and, so, having been through some of those experiences, which they are stressful, they are life and death in some cases, everything else is then filtered to a lens of this isn’t that hard. Yes, it’s stressful. Yes, maybe a deal is on the line, or we need to hire or fire someone quickly, which are decisions you need to make. But, still, then I never get hugely stressed by them, to be perfectly honest because I always have that kind of perspective, which I’m very grateful for, and then the final point I’ll say on that is, make sure you build a fantastic team. I was probably quite guilty as a solo founder of doing way too much early on and beyond; I was still running all of the operations, running sales, and running marketing between the seed and Series A. Everything. And so that’s why now bringing on some fantastic senior executives who not only can take ownership of that and do some of those roles better than I can, but it also unburdens me, and supports me, and helps me to learn from them; to grow as well. So, those are my kind of three tips for anyone listening.
And so, if anyone’s interested in what you’re doing or where things are going, where can they find you?
Yes, I say you can access our website at virti.com. We’re Virti Labs across all socials. And then I’ve recently started putting down a lot of my thoughts around this, and I’ve mapped out our Series A process on a CEO blog which is alexanderfyoung.com. So try and share some of these things that I’ve been through because everything from raising investment, scaling company is complex, and there’s no manual to do it. So I think it’s imperative for people to share everything they learn on that journey.
We will make it a point to put those links below so that people can find you and follow that information and your journey. We appreciate your time very much. I’m sure you’re very busy. So, we’ll let you get back to that. But, again, thank you very much, and we look forward to great things from Virti and yourself.
Thank you. Absolute pleasure. Thanks.
Virti raises $10m to optimize human performance for the global workforce
For Immediate Release
30th June 2021
June, UK – Digital training platform Virti has raised $10m in a Series A 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 orthopedic surgeon – Virti helps organizations optimize 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 organizations to find engaging and scalable ways to upskill the workforce, Virti’s deep learning technology improves training outcomes by up to 230% while supporting individuals and organizations in the global shift towards remote and remote 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%, and the company’s workforce doubled in size.
Virti’s cloud-based, no-code simulation creation suite enables organizations to build bespoke training modules that analyze user performance using computer-vision AI and Natural Language Processing (NLP). Organizations 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 analyze, 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 organizations 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. In addition, Michael Hernandez, previously at Nearpod, joins Virti as Head of Customer Success.
Dr. Alexander Young, CEO and founder of Virti, comments:
“At Virti, our goal is to maximize 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 organizations get the best out of their people by improving how teams train, learn and perform using scalable deep learning technology to 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 organizations create and distribute evidence-based training, which can be standardized and scaled across organizations 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, comments:
“E-learning has seen strong growth over the last 5 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”.
For more information, visit www.virti.com.