VR Education Holdings, the company behind the social VR platform ENGAGE, announced it’s raised €9 million (~$10.7 million) which will help it expand beyond the realm of immersive education & training and into a new product called ENGAGE Oasis. It’s billing the upcoming social VR platform as an enterprise offering comparable to a “fully featured corporate metaverse.”

As reported by Forbes and Silicon Republic, the Waterford, Ireland-based company has secured its latest funding from a number of investors via share placing, which includes Octopus Investment LTD UK. The new shares generated from the deal are said to represent 20% of the company’s issued ordinary share capital prior to the placing. VR Education Holdings is listed on both Euronext Dublin and London Stock Exchange.

In May 2020, VR Education secured $3.3 million from HTC to expand Engage, the company’s platform which allows educators and enterprise customers to create bespoke VR experiences for both small and large format events across a variety of devices, including SteamVR headsets, Oculus Quest, Vive Focus Plus, and Pico headsets. Only two months before the deal went through, Engage played host to HTC’s Virtual Vive Ecosystem Conference—a direct response to the pandemic’s deleterious effect on in-person events.

As the name would suggest, Oasis is fairly ambitious in scope. Aiming for launch in H1 2022, Oasis was inspired by the eponymous metaverse featured in the novel and film Ready Player One, which was the de facto platform in VR where users meet, play and do business. Oasis said to be an “always-on, fully persistent virtual world, where ENGAGE clients can meet and sell products and services directly to each other,” and it targets business professionals, corporations, young professionals, and college students.

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“Employees from the world’s largest corporations can connect with each other to generate new business ideas and deliver value to their respective organisations,” the company says in a press statement. “ENGAGE Oasis aims to be an opportunity for corporate users to expand their customer base and provide immersive services at a reasonable price.”

The studio says avatars and virtual locations will be “tailored for professional users,” which includes no limits when it comes to the storefronts and meeting places they want to build. There, the company envisions the platform as a new marketplace for corporations and digital artists to sell digital items and provide services using non-fungible tokens (NFTs), fiat currencies and cryptocurrencies.

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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.
  • Wild Dog

    They’ve had some impressive business dealings, even hosting a virtual VR convention with HTC but I’ve never been particularly impressed by ENGAGE’s immersion or UI. I just wonder what they mean by creating a metaverse because it sounds like they got 10.7 million just to upgrade their servers and add some features.

    • Arturs Gerskovics

      same here. Engage platform just looks and feels outdated for todays standards. If someone told me it is made by a single person I wouldnt be surprised.
      But i wish them best of luck and cant wait them to prove me wrong :)

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    • creeped out

      Am I the only one who’s creeped out to the marrow by the proposition in the video? It feels like people stuck in an anthill with creepy-crawly salesmen eager to rip them off.

      C’mon guys, Oasis was supposed to be a dystopia. Using it as a serious non-ironic product just evokes the worst fears of VR going wrong.

      • Wild Dog

        Didn’t they make an mmo based on the matrix?

        • creeped out

          A MMO is still an entertainment franchise. Had they done a Matrix-themed conference hall for serious day-to-day business meetings, it would be similarly uncanny.

          • Wild Dog

            … I feel like that’s just a variation on a theme though.

      • It’s only a subset of people who want to live in a dystopia – the Snow Crash and Bladerunner fans. I’d say most people prefer another existence.

  • Compliments to the team, people at Engage are amazing!