Serious Labs Inc. (SLI) announced today that it has recently accepted $5 million USD in a Series A equity financing round to continue its mission to develop innovative training solutions for heavy industry. The funding was made by two co-investors, Stamford, Connecticut-based United Rentals Inc., and Silicon Valley-based construction tech venture firm Brick and Mortar Ventures. In addition, Serious Labs also secured over $3.5 million USD in new product development contracts to augment SLI’s suite of Virtual Reality (VR) equipment simulators.
Serious Labs is the market leader for leveraging cutting-edge technology like VR in the development of interactive training solutions for the millennial labour force. The new VR equipment simulators will include additional crane models, forklifts, backhoes and skid steers. Serious Labs has a global customer base in the construction, mining, plant and maintenance, and oil and gas industries, including such industry leaders as United Rentals and the Bechtel Group. “With our unique business model of working with industry domain experts, we have attracted the attention of many global companies looking to take their training content into the 21st century,” said Jim Colvin, CEO, Serious Labs. “Our technology makes a difference in worker safety and productivity. It’s something that the industry is ready for as the boomers continue to retire and are replaced by the digital millennial workforce that likes to learn by doing rather than sitting in a traditional classroom.”
Serious Labs and United Rentals, North America’s largest provider of equipment rental solutions, have a strong history of partnering together. They have innovated to improve safety and productivity with the co-developed United Academy Premium Online Training. This training has made it easier and more convenient for employers to satisfy their need for compliance training while effectively reducing cost and risk, improving productivity and making their workforce safer. “This investment underscores our commitment to driving positive change in our industry through innovation,” said Jeffery Fenton, Senior Vice President of Business Development with United Rentals. “Virtual reality and other technology-rich techniques can help our customers work more safely and with greater productivity—for example, VR simulation offers hands-on training that mirrors the operator experience on a construction or industrial site, and delivers it in a safe and controlled environment. We are pleased to support Serious Labs in its exploration of new immersive learning technologies.” “The world of equipment operator training, certification, and validation of skills represents a large market ripe for change by VR simulation,” said Darren Bechtel, Managing Director, Brick and Mortar Ventures. “Virtual reality is already the gold standard in aeronautics and aviation, and adoption is now beginning in the Architecture-Engineering-Construction (AEC) world.”
“Witnessing the holes in workforce training, we’re proactively solving wide-reaching safety and productivity issues,” said Colvin. “The proof: our technology’s extensive track record of not only reducing incidents, but saving lives.”