Transfr VR (Transfr), a provider of on-the-job training programs that utilize augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR), announced that it has raised $35 million in its Series B funding.
The round was led by Lumos Capital Group, with participation from existing investors Firework Ventures and Album VC and new investor Spring Tide Capital. Lumos Capital Group’s co-founder and Managing Partner Victor Hu will join Transfr’s board of directors.
Other investors including veteran education executives such as former CEO of Penn Foster, Stuart Udell; Former CEO of Udemy, Dennis Yang; Degreed founder, David Blake; co-founder of WorkMarket, serial entrepreneur and best-selling author Jeff Wald; and former CEO of Upwork and Elance, Fabio Rosati, have also participated in the round.
With the funds, the New York City-based company plans to expand its training program into regions and industries most heavily impacted by skills gaps and unemployment.
Founded in 2017 by Bharani Rajakumar, Transfr’s simulations enable learners to feel as though they are embedded in the physical environment and experience of an actual worksite. The platform's approach enables trainees to perform hands-on training with the assistance of a pre-programmed digital coach, all in a fully immersive, 360-degree environment that is distraction free and completely safe.
Transfr’s mission is to train the future of every industry and open up new opportunities for people across the globe. It creates unique pathways to well-paying jobs available now in high-demand fields, enabling learners to find job security and upward mobility, facilitated by immersive, hands-on training.
Speaking about the company, Founder & CEO of Transfr, Bharani Rajakumar, said:
"Employers are looking for undiscovered talent—but high potential workers often are unaware of the on-ramp to in-demand and high-paying careers. VR allows us to deliver on-the-job training at a massive scale to meet the economic development needs of states, communities and employers. Together, we are creating pathways from classroom to career that can help workers and learners access new skills—and better jobs."
Since its inception, Transfr has pioneered the use of virtual and augmented reality simulations for training in some of the country’s fastest growing jobs and industries, including automotive, aerospace, advanced manufacturing, healthcare and construction. In five years, the company has grown from serving customers in a single state to working with non-profit, public sector, and enterprise partners in 36 states and the District of Columbia.
The startup claims that more than 10,000 incumbent workers, job-seekers, and students have already accessed Transfr’s VR simulations, which simulate the on-the-job training and experience needed for individuals to prepare for new career opportunities.
Commenting on the funding, Co-founder & Managing Partner of Lumos Capital Group, Victor Hu, said:
"At a time when the jobs we do and the way we do them are changing dramatically, virtual and augmented reality holds enormous potential as a technology for career exploration, talent development and recruitment. The Transfr team is creating an entirely new approach to the acquisition of skills that can help workers gain invaluable on-the-job experience—and create pathways to social and economic mobility in underserved communities. This is a unique triple bottom line model that benefits companies and workers—while contributing to the economic well-being of communities—and is perfectly aligned with our mission as an investment firm."
According to the company, nearly 300 organizations are now using its simulations as a platform for skills training and career exploration and its suite of immersive learning technology and assessment tools are already used by local workforce agencies, schools, colleges, and employers across the US, ranging from community and technical colleges to large enterprise employers like Mazda Toyota Manufacturing.
In November 2020, Transfr had raised $12 million in a funding round led by Firework Ventures.