Virtual reality therapy startup Oxford VR today announced its secured $12.5 million in Series A financing to further its research and development into VR-based therapy programs.

The latest funding round was led by Optum Ventures and supported by Luminous Ventures. Existing investors include Oxford Sciences Innovation, Oxford University Innovation, and GT Healthcare Capital Partners.

The company says in a press release that the fresh capital will allow it to accelerate expansion into the U.S. and continue R&D into treating conditions such as anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Founded in 2017 by Oxford Professor Daniel Freeman and biomedical engineer Barnaby Perks, Oxford VR is building what it calls “automated VR therapy,” which provides psychological treatments to patients as an adjunct to traditional therapy.

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The company says its platform is intended to “transform behavioral health care by helping overloaded providers expand access and standardize clinical excellence, ensuring adherence to treatment protocols.”

For Oxford VR’s first clinical trial, the company tested a program that exposed patients with a fear of heights to a virtual suspended walkway. The results were published in The Lancet Psychiatry; the company says the results achieved were “significantly better than expected, with the best psychological intervention delivered face-to-face by a therapist.”

The company is already delivering its automated VR therapy in real-world settings via the UK’s National Health Service (NHS). Additionally, Oxford VR is participating in trials including the NHS-funded gameChange project, a large-scale trial to use VR therapy to treat patients with behavioral health conditions.

Oxford VR has also partnered with AXA Hong Kong and The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) in a pilot program to test VR’s potential to support better mental health outcomes.

In the US, the company has also established a partnership with the Colorado-based National Mental Health Innovation Center (NMHIC) where it is running multiple pilots using VR therapy treatments.

Along with the investment, Ash Patel, Principal at Optum Ventures is joining the Oxford VR Board of Directors.

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Well before the first modern XR products hit the market, Scott recognized the potential of the technology and set out to understand and document its growth. He has been professionally reporting on the space for nearly a decade as Editor at Road to VR, authoring more than 3,500 articles on the topic. Scott brings that seasoned insight to his reporting from major industry events across the globe.
  • Andrew Jakobs

    that’s a lot of funding for a few people….. wonder how much they pocket themselves…

    • Hivemind9000

      It’s a series A round to fund growth into the US and to build more VR sessions. Moves like that mean people and a whole lot of costs. You never get to “pocket” the money – that’s called an acquisition (or embezzlement).

  • Hivemind9000

    Wonder if they are doing one for fear of mother-in-laws…?

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  • A lot of progress for just 2 weeks and 4hours, imagine future when VR is a comodity like computers now and any therapist has acces for standarized, VR, therapeutic experiences for all range of disorders. Seems great fo me.

  • care package

    It’s about time we finally have a solution planned. All the drugs, self help books and shrinks haven’t done shit apparently.