Delhi-headquartered virtual reality startup Simulanis has raised $500,000 in a pre-Series A round from Education Catalyst Fund, an early-stage education and skilling fund for low-income groups.
Founded in 2013, Simulanis initially offered skilling programmes for engineering students via computer-based modules. It went on to offer work environment simulations to train employees besides incorporating virtual and augmented reality into its offerings in 2015.
"The company faces little competition in the Indian market and the products offered are innovative and unique," Vishal Bharat, director, corporate business advisors at Education Catalyst, told VCCircle.
In October, VCCircle had reported that global philanthropic organisation Michael and Susan Dell Foundation (MSDF) had marked the first close of the Education Catalyst Fund after raising nearly two-thirds of the target corpus.
Geeta Goel, vice president of mission investing at MSDF, had said the final close is expected towards the end of 2018. The Category II alternative investment fund, floated last September, has a target corpus of $20 million.
Apart from MSDF, the other limited partners in the fund include US-based impact investment foundation Gray Matters Capital and a few private Indian investors.
Simulanis CEO Raman Talwar had earlier said that he was looking to raise close to a couple of million dollars in a Series A round by the end of this year to expand the company's offering to a platform level, apart from enhancing its products.
Last April, the company had raised an undisclosed amount in pre-Series A funding from early-stage investment firm Village Capital and a consortium of investors including India Skills chairman Pawanjit Ahluwalia; Apurva Chamaria, VP and head – corporate marketing, HCL Technologies; and Mridul Upreti, chief executive officer of Segregated Funds Group at Jones Lang LaSalle.
The funding round encouraged Talwar to stick to his plan of incorporating AR and VR in education.
The company offers industrial training to employees working in auto, oil and gas, railways, FMCG and pharmaceuticals. It has already started operations in the United Kingdom via a subsidiary. The startup posted revenues of Rs 62 lakh in the financial year 2016-17.
The AR and VR space in India has been gaining traction of late. Last week, Kalpnik Technologies, which runs a virtual reality-driven spiritual startup, had raised $500,000 in a seed round from a group of angels at funding and incubation platform Venture Catalysts.
In May last year, Chymera VR Inc, a virtual reality advertising platform, had secured funding from a clutch of angel investors, including People Group founder and chief executive Anupam Mittal, Airbnb’s global expansion head Varsha Rao, Google executive Surojit Chatterjee, and HHC Holdings chairman Nirav Choksi. The investment was made through LetsVenture, an online funding platform.
In March, virtual reality startup ShilpMIS Technologies had raised an undisclosed amount from digital industry veteran and angel investor Puneet Gupta, Deloitte US partner Nimitt Desai and other high net worth individuals.
In February, Imaginate Technologies Inc. had secured Rs 3.35 crore in seed funding from venture fund SRI Capital.