‘The Irish Times’ Business People of the Month: David and Sandra Whelan

Immersive VR Education raised £6m in IPO of business started with a borrowed €1,000

Waterford-based Immersive VR Education founders David and Sandra Whelan are the recipients of The Irish Times Business People of the Month Award for March, in association with KPMG.

The husband-and-wife team receive the award after VR Education Holdings, the holding company for the start-up, raised £6 million as it began trading on the London and Irish stock markets. It placed 60 million new ordinary shares at 10p each, to give the company a market capitalisation of £19.3 million (€21.6 million).

The funding will be used to further develop the company’s virtual social learning and presentation platform Engage, to fuel its marketing strategy, and to produce new content.

Engage allows lessons, meetings and presentations to be held in a virtual, multi-user environment, and helps trainers create pre-recorded or live content. It will be rolled out later this year.


Virtual Reality

The company, which was founded in 2014, uses virtual reality in digital education and corporate training. The Whelans borrowed €1,000 from a relative four years ago to start the business, which is now worth close to £21 million.

Mr Whelan is chief executive, while Ms Whelan is chief operating officer. The company’s partners include Oxford University, the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, and the BBC.