Waterford-based technology company VR Education Holdings is listing on the AIM in London and the ESM in Dublin - the Irish Stock Exchange's offshoot for emerging firms. Through the initial public offering (IPO) of its shares, VR Education - which develops applications for virtual reality technology in the areas of digital education and corporate training - has raised €6.7m. The company was founded by husband and wife team Dave and Sandra Whelan.
Dave Whelan, chief executive of the company, said that VR Education Holdings has built an education and corporate training platform, where any educator or trainer can teach any subject to anyone anywhere in the world in a virtual environment. The company's ENGAGE platform is a tool for educators and corporate trainers to create their own content and publish that content on a platform - a virtual reality powerpoint. The system is also networked and the platform records everything, he added.
Mr Whelan said the company counts the BBC, the Royal College of Surgeons in Dublin, Oxford University and New Haven University among its clients, adding that it has a wide range of top tier institutions from all around the world using its product.
The company was founded three years ago and has seen a "rocket" of a journey to today's flotation today. It was formed after Dave Whelan got a €1,000 loan from his sister - which has since been paid back. He explained that one of the company's early investors was affiliated with a fund in London and through that contact, the company got in contact with a broker who saw a big opportunity in listing the company. He said that while the company did have funds privately available to it, in order to attract the best type of business development model it decided to list in both Dublin and London.
According to its chief executive, VR Education will use the proceeds from its IPO to open up a new office in London while it also plans to expand its Irish workforce, taking the numbers employed here to 40 from 22. He said that being listed will attract the best talent to the company.
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