An Edmonton, Alberta-based virtual reality software startup called Serious Labs has closed a $6.4M round of Series A funding from, among others, the Bechtel-backed, San Francisco-based construction VC firm Brick & Mortar Ventures. The startup focuses on VR training solutions for construction, oil and gas, manufacturing, and defense. (This is the second recent construction software startup that Brick & Mortar has invested in which we’ve covered here at AEC Labs.)
Of particular interest to us, Serious Labs offers a VR training solution for construction cranes! The simulator mimics a 100-ton-class hydraulic or lattice boom crane and comes loaded with 13 hours of training and even certification prep tools. You can check out a really neat video of the crane sim on YouTube here. At a time when cranes and crane safety are coming under intense scrutiny nationally, training software like Serious Labs’ seems like it has tremendous upside.
“With our unique business model of working with industry domain experts, we have attracted the attention of many global companies looking to take their training content into the 21st century,” said CEO Jim Colvin in a press release. “Our technology makes a difference in worker safety and productivity. It’s something that the industry is ready for as the boomers continue to retire and are replaced by the digital millennial workforce that likes to learn by doing rather than sitting in a traditional classroom.”
The round of new funding will allow Serious Labs to build additional simulations for other types of crane models, forklifts, backhoes, skid steers, and other heavy construction equipment. The company primarily sells its products to customers in the construction, mining, plant and maintenance, and oil and gas industries.