The North East Venture Fund, managed by Mercia, has invested £1m into Newcastle-based extended reality (XR) training company Luminous Group.
Founded in 2004, under the name Digital Surveys, the company began life as a 3D mapping startup for the construction sector. Jump ahead to 2016 and the firm began deploying its 3D modelling technology in the augmented and virtual reality spaces.
Now branded as Luminous, the company offers developers the tools and infrastructure to develop metaverse style virtual training programmes. Luminous’s primary clients are in the manufacturing, industrial and energy industries.
Following a contract win, the XR company expanded to Bahrain, with further intentions to open a site in Saudi Arabia before the end of the year.
“While it is still early days for the ‘metaverse’, VR and XR technologies have matured significantly and the launch of Apple’s first mixed-reality headset next year is expected to boost awareness and drive global demand,” said Ben Bennett, CEO of Luminous Group.
“The funding received from Mercia puts Luminous in a strong position to capitalise on that.”
Luminous Group said it will add 10 people to its team in the coming year and develop its software to include a training programme marketplace for third parties.
Chris McCourt, investment director at Mercia, said: “Current training techniques used in industry are expensive and outdated. Immersive training in a virtual environment could significantly improve performance but creating such programmes has been challenging until now.”