TRANSFR VR, a USA based immersive learning startup pioneering the application of virtual reality to simulate on-the-job training, announced on Thursday (19.11.2020) raising US$ 12 million in Series A funding.
The funding round was led by Firework Ventures. Bittner, a former Department of Education appointee, will join the board.
This investment will enable the company to scale training programs designed to boost economic mobility in regions most heavily impacted by gaps in skills and unemployment.
In Alabama, the startup is partnering with AIDT, Alabama’s workforce agency, and the Alabama Community College System to use its curriculum and Oculus Quest virtual reality equipment to give skills training for careers that do not require a 4-year degree. They have a new statewide partnership called JumpstartAL, through which job-seekers across the state can access simulation-based training to get ready for roles in fast-growing industries like automotive manufacturing, construction, and other skilled trades.
What TRANSFR has to say
“By simulating on the-job experience, we’re helping to transform skills training into a more engaging and immersive experience and bridge the gap between work-based learning and classroom instruction,” said Bharanidharan Rajakumar, founder and CEO of TRANSFR. “Empowering high-potential workers with access to hands-on, practical training is unlocking better careers and higher wages—regardless of their employment history,” he also added.
What AIDT has to say
“Making skills training more accessible, relevant, and engaging can help to bring technical careers to life and open them up to workers in search of their next step,” said Ed Castile, deputy secretary of Alabama Department of Commerce and Executive Director, AIDT.
“This work is helping to bridge the gap between unemployed workers and hands-on, technical skills training required in fast-growing fields across our state,” he also commented.
What Alabama Community College System has to say
“Community colleges are always on the front lines of trying to connect education and training with the demands of employers at the state and local level,” quoted David Walters, director of special projects and system initiatives at the Alabama Community College System.
“The lifelike simulations we’re employing are helping to equip students to compete and thrive in high-growth industries,” he also said.
What Firework Ventures has to say
“The troubling reality is that the current chapter of labour market volatility is perpetuating long-standing wage and skill gaps among women, low-income families, and people of colour. We view immersive learning technology as a powerful tool in building a more equitable and inclusive labour market while filling gaps for industries and employers that need talent now,” said Ashley Bittner, founding partner of Firework Ventures.
The startup is on a mission to make learning more intuitive by helping individuals develop the skills they need for career success. In January 2020, TRANSFR was named a “2020 Innovator to Watch” by national education and workforce nonprofit JFF. It was founded in 2017 by Bharanidharan Rajakumar and has its headquarters in New York, USA.
About Firework Ventures
It is an emerging venture fund that invests in human-centered future of work companies. Firework was founded by veteran VC investor Brigette Lau and Ashley Bittner, formerly of Owl Ventures, in 2019. The company takes in a unique blend of technology and policy expertise to early-stage investing.
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