Masters of Pie, a London-based early-stage tech firm working on collaborative VR and AR, has raised £1.6m in a round led by Downing Ventures.

The company’s proprietary technology powers a mixed reality platform, which enables industrial designers and production line experts to load their 3D data into a virtual meeting space – meaning they can collaborate remotely with colleagues in ‘real-time’.

Radical, as the platform is known, has allegedly been adopted by Siemens, which integrated it with its own CAD software. The startup says it’s also worked with Ford and Volkswagen.

Masters of Pie‘s CEO Karl Maddix spoke about the raise: “Having spent a number of years proving the technology, finding market traction and securing commercial partnerships, it is absolutely the right time now to focus on the rapid growth of the business. Downing has a deep understanding of how to build upon solid foundations to quickly scale up for market success. They share our vision and our passion and we are pleased to bring them on board at this key stage in our journey.

“We are excited to be at the forefront of providing solutions to enterprise, first focusing on the PLM sector but soon into other verticals, as they begin to leverage VR and AR and see the real value in a collaborative solution like Radical.”

The cash will be used to accelerate product development and secure additional commercial partnerships.

James Lewis, investment director at Downing Ventures, explained why his firm decided to back the young company.

“The virtual reality market presents an exciting investment opportunity for us as venture capital investors, with the emerging sector predicted to grow from $4 billion in 2016 to nearly $80 billion by 2021. The adoption of both virtual reality and augmented reality also looks set to increase as headsets become less expensive and computing power gets faster.

“Masters of Pie is a great example of what this type of technology is capable of. While the underlying software is incredibly intricate, the end result makes life so much simpler for the user and allows CAD technology to be far more intuitive.”

Downing Ventures is also an investor in Open Bionics and TrueAI.