May 21, 2019
SJF Ventures Invests in Interplay Learning
Austin, Texas, May 21, 2019 / INTERPLAY LEARNING / – Interplay Learning, the leading provider of online training for skilled trades utilizing virtual reality (VR) and 3D simulations, today announced it has completed a $5.5 million Series A round of financing. S3 Ventures led the investment round with participation from SJF Ventures, Sierra Ventures, Wild Basin Investments, Shelter Capital Partners, Shasta Ventures, and Holt Ventures. Charlie Plauche, Partner with S3 Ventures, will join Interplay Learning’s Board of Directors. The round will support onboarding talent in its Austin offices and customer success team, in addition to aggressively accelerating expansion into new markets and developing new platform features.
The Series A financing builds on a year of explosive growth for the firm, including a 40% month-over-month growth of SaaS platform users ranging from small businesses to Enterprise-level customers. Interplay recently signed three major HVAC manufacturers as customers, including the largest HVAC distribution company in the world. It also completed its first international license deal. On track for 400% growth this year, its white-hot momentum continues with plans to penetrate four new industries, including electrical, plumbing, heavy equipment repair and facility maintenance.
“HVAC, electrical, plumbing and other skilled trade companies traditionally have had a massive ‘skills gap’ and worker shortage issue,” said Charlie Plauche, Partner with S3 Ventures. “Until now, there was no way for job candidates to get experiential training online. Interplay Learning’s game-changing platform utilizing VR and 3D simulations is revolutionizing the way skilled trades are taught. It has already been used to train thousands of workers. When I spoke with current customers, it was clear that Interplay Learning helps skilled labor companies attract and train talent faster with its state-of-the-art 3D simulations at a lower cost,” concluded Plauche.
“Of the many B2B focused 3D/VR use cases, Interplay Learning is the best I’ve seen in terms of core product platform that will enable scalability into different categories of the market,” said Jacob Mullins, Partner at Shasta Ventures.
“Interplay’s platform, coupled with on-the-job training, has quickly become the foundation for our internal training program,” said Robyn Hass, Chief Financial Officer of Core Mechanical. “The content really engages our junior technicians, so they actually use it and can see a clear path on how to grow their technical skills. This means we can hire for attitude and train for skill.”
The firm experienced significant acceleration two years ago after hiring Pixar’s senior engineer, enabling their R&D team to build a breakthrough 3D/VR training platform called SkillMill™. It allows its instructional designers to build VR simulations in 1/10 of the time it takes in-house teams or agencies to create similar experiences.
Interplay Learning’s new way to on-ramp and advance skills for the industrial workforce features a catalog that includes dozens of interactive video courses by top industry experts and state-of-the-art 3D troubleshooting simulations. Course materials are accessible by desktop, laptop or VR-headset and provide an immersive learning experience for engagement and field-like experience. The solution delivers both cost-effective HVAC NATE CEU hours and Solar NABCEP CEU hours. An administration capability allows service managers to track their team’s skill advancement. The subscription-based solution offers monthly and annual pricing.
About Interplay Learning
Austin, Texas-based Interplay Learning is a software company that develops and delivers scalable and effective training for the mechanical, electrical and industrial workforce, using Virtual Reality and 3D simulation. With expertise developed over the last 8 years in simulation training in the HVAC, Electrical, Energy Auditing, Solar Install, Manufacturing, and Construction Codes industries, Interplay offers both off-the-shelf and custom solutions to solve difficult workforce training challenges. Interplay Learning was named to the latest Inc. 5000 list, which ranks the top fastest-growing private companies in the United States. Visit https://www.interplaylearning.com/ to learn more.
Ria Romano, Partner
RPR Public Relations, Inc.