Football’s latest star is a VR startup.
In an initial funding round, Strivr Labs Inc raised $5 million towards expansion across sports and the workplace, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Founded by former Stanford University football player and assistant coach Derek Belch, and Jeremy Bailenson of Stanford’s Virtual Human Interaction Lab, Strivr provides training tools for professional and college football teams.
Using proprietary software and virtual-reality headsets such as Facebook’s Oculus Rift and Samsung Electronics Co.’s Gear VR, the company gives football players the ability to run plays and scenarios as if they’re in the middle of play. Current customers include seven professional teams, 13 college teams, and one high school team.
Can they leverage this VR product from the stadium to the boardroom? Strivr’s funders are saying yes.
The funding, led by Menlo Park, California-based Signia Venture Partners, will allow Strivr to expand its software applications to corporate customers for VR-based training programs designed to help improve reaction time and decision-making in customer service scenarios.
Strivr is profitable and has an estimated valuation of $20 million to $33 million, according to Signia VC founding partner Zaw Thet, who will take a board seat.