Dublin’s VRAI lands €3.4m to bring VR training to the offshore wind sector

29 Sep 2022

VRAI co-founders Pat O'Connor and Niall Campion. Image: VRAI

VRAI, which trains employees using VR simulation tech, will expand its Ireland and UK teams following the funding round.

Dublin-based VRAI has raised €3.4m in funding to bring its VR simulation training technology to the offshore wind industry.

A former SiliconRepublic.com Start-up of the Week, VRAI develops tech that combines virtual reality with data capture, analysis and machine learning to measure, evaluate and predict human performance and improve training outcomes.

Founded in Dublin in 2017 by Pat O’Connor and Niall Campion, VRAI currently works with customers in the aerospace, defence and security sectors.

VR training is a lucrative business, with Allied Market Research estimating the market size could reach $600bn by 2027.

In August 2020, VRAI secured €1.2m in funding to boost VR training tech during the pandemic. Campion also told SiliconRepublic.com that VR tech could be a huge advantage for people who work remotely.

In July this year, VRAI teamed up with international defence tech company BAE Systems to create a VR and AI-led training programme for military personnel. It will see the two companies harness the potential of VR tech to train people in complex manoeuvres in a secure setting.

With the latest round of investment, led by UK-based Northstar Ventures, VRAI hopes to help “democratise simulation training” in the offshore wind space and accelerate the growth of the workforce to meet the increased need for renewable energy in Europe.

Following the investment, VRAI will create up to 10 new jobs at its Ireland and UK offices over the next 12 months.

“I strongly believe that dual-use technologies such as ours can be a source of competitive advantage for our society,” said VRAI managing director O’Connor.

“This investment allows us to help scale the offshore wind workforce, which is critical to society’s plans for transitioning from fossil fuel dependency. Our products will also help to ensure our military personnel have the very best training and insights, at a lower cost and with lower carbon footprint, in the face of increasingly complex operational environments.”

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Vish Gain is a journalist with Silicon Republic