MOONHUB has raised $2.6m in seed funding to further transform workplace learning across all sectors through virtual reality (VR).
Founded in 2016, the London-based startup led by Dami Hastrup, Vinh Ly and Hannah Sutcliffe, has established itself as a leading force in the UK and are now set to expand its operations into the burgeoning global VR workplace training market, which consultancy PwC estimates will grow to $294bn by 2030.
MOONHUB’s success is attributable to its state-of-the-art patented VR technology, which delivers a low risk, highly-immersive experience for learners and provides an analytical performance overview for organisations to streamline data-driven solutions.
Organisations are increasingly adopting a people-oriented approach to support employee retention and engagement, in response to the ‘great resignation’ trend that has emerged from higher levels of social disconnection over the past two years. Forward-thinking learning and development managers, along with heads of operations, are now transitioning companies away from traditional in-house training models to more innovative and interactive VR platforms that can upskill employees at pace, instil greater confidence in their roles and help staff develop new skills to keep them motivated and engaged.
As hybrid working patterns continue to challenge traditional learning and development strategies, virtual reality can efficiently onboard and upskill employees by creating interactive and immersive experiences. In this sense, MOONHUB’s technology has sustainability at the centre of its ethos: remotely deployable and cost-effective. In 2021, organisations saw their training expenditures rise to more than £800 per employee. When deployed at scale, VR can save companies up to 64% in learning and development spending, and MOONHUB’s solution is tailored to meet these standards.
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By digitally simulating lifelike scenarios, MOONHUB’s VR training platform creates a 360-degree learning environment with quantitative performance data collected on dashboards for managers to analyse. The real-life role play situations also enable effective knowledge transfer. With VR training set to transform how companies onboard and upskill employees, MOONHUB is looking to capitalise on its first mover advantage as corporates seek to increase workforce retention, performance and engagement.
The benefits of VR training compared to traditional training methods go beyond the bottom line: global consultancy giant Accenture found that VR training has the potential to result in 75 per cent higher knowledge retention rates compared to the 5 to 10 per cent that can be expected from traditional learning methods. Consultancy firm PwC also reported that VR training is completed four times quicker and that learners who used VR training are 275 per cent more confident in applying the training knowledge in the workplace.
In 2020, MOONHUB received backing from Miles Jacobson, Director of Sports Interactive, the firm behind the Football Manager game series, as part of its $355,000 pre-seed round. It has since built a client portfolio which includes Just Eat, Here East in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, Royal Opera House, Rawbank, Sports Interactive and more. In 2022, the company participated in Pi Labs’ Growth Programme, to scale up its operations and conduct further product development with the help of global tech experts, advisors and investors.
Faisal Butt, CEO and Founder of Pi Labs, said: “Ever since we invited MOONHUB to be a part of Pi Labs’ 2022 Growth Programme, we’ve, quite frankly, been ‘over the moon’ to be a part of its ambitious journey from such an early stage. We see in Dami, Vinh and Hannah the entrepreneurial flair and innovative abilities that will enable MOONHUB to become a global leader in VR training technology.
“The future of the workplace is still one of the most speculative aspects of the built environment. From our perspective as proptech investors, the evolution of workplace strategies will require businesses to identify skills gaps and develop targeted training strategies for geographically dispersed workforces. The fact that MOONHUB can be deployed across multiple sectors, to accelerate onboarding, improve performance and enhance soft skills, means that the market for this in the years to come will be seismic. Especially with hybrid working here to stay, almost all companies will need to embrace VR training solutions to attract, retain and develop talent.”
Dami Hastrup, CEO of MOONHUB, said: “This is an exciting time for MOONHUB. We’re propelling ourselves forward at even greater speeds with this seed round and we have some excellent investors and backers joining us on our journey. Our patent being filed five years ago shows that MOONHUB has always had a laser-focused vision on what VR training in the workplace should look like. As we grow our client list and move to expand our off-the-shelf training library, we’re thrilled to grow our team in our pursuit to solidify ourselves as a go-to name in the VR training space.”
Matt Penneycard, Partner, Ada Ventures, said: “David Fisayo had angel invested in MOONHUB as part of Ada’s Angel’s programme, and he did a great job of convincing Check and me that now is the time to back enterprise VR. The interest levels and traction with corporate clients is off the scale, accelerated by the lock-explosion in remote working over the past couple of years. We’ve seen enterprise VR solutions over the years, and never been convinced the demand side was big enough. All that has changed and MOONHUB has launched skywards as a result! We’re thrilled to work with Pi Labs and to back Dami and the team at this exciting time.”
With this latest deal, Pi Labs has completed 22 investments with capital deployed from its $90m fund. The global VC is targeting the next generation of proptech startups that have developed proprietary technology to enhance any stage of the real estate value chain. The company currently has a portfolio of 60 companies across 15 countries and four continents, with plans to almost double this over the next four years.