VR Education revenue rises 43% in 2019 as company poised for growth

Education platform may benefit from changes driven by Covid-19 pandemic

David Whelan, chief executive of VR Education, and Sandra Whelan, chief operating officer. Photograph: Shane O’Neill/SON Photographic

David Whelan, chief executive of VR Education, and Sandra Whelan, chief operating officer. Photograph: Shane O’Neill/SON Photographic


Revenue at VR Education rose 43 per cent in 2019, with the company recording a pretax loss of €1.9 million in line with expectations.

The company is also poised to benefit from an interest in technology for education prompted by the Covid-19 pandemic and accompanying restrictions put in place to slow its spread.

Publishing its final results for 2019 on Tuesday, the group said revenue for the year was €1 million, with earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation showing a loss of €1.4 million. That was slightly better than in 2018, when the company recorded a €1.5 million loss, and was in line with management expectations.

Delays in the launch and a lack of mobile hardware hit growth for the company during the year.

Pretax losses improved from €4.9 million to €1.9 million. Net cash at the end of the year was €1.3 million with no debt.

During 2019, VR Education signed up its first customers for its Engage platform, which was released on PC-supported VR devices at the end of 2018, with Facebook also selecting the platform as part of its ISV programme. The group also saw continued sales of its showcase experiences, including the Raid on the Ruhr and Shuttle Commander. Apollo 11 was selected as a launch title for the new Oculus Quest.

A commercial agreement with US Space and Rocket Centre were extended until December 19th 2020

After the end of the reporting period, VR Education signed a partnership deal with US-based VR and augmented reality company VictoryXR, and held the HTC Vive Ecosystem Conference virtually on its Engage platform. The company also benefitted from a €3 million investment from Taiwan-based HTC and agreed a strategic partnership for the distribution and licence of the group’s Engage platform globally through HTC enterprise sales channels.

“VR Education has positioned itself well in 2019 to identify and overcome many hurdles which had subdued growth to date and during the year Engage became available on standalone devices such as the Oculus Quest, Pico VR and Vive Focus. The availability of standalone devices is of paramount importance to potential customers and, with these now in the market and Engage being platform agnostic, I believe the group is now well placed to become a leader in immersive communications,” said David Whelan, chief executive of VR Education.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has transformed the Group’s fortunes as businesses, corporations and educational institutes globally are now seeking better alternatives to video-based communications due to limitations with collaborative tasks and the drawbacks of larger group communications via video as a medium. Our recently announced strategic partnership and investment from HTC places the Group in a strong position to accelerate the global adoption of the Engage platform and create value for shareholders.”