Gemba, the virtual reality workforce learning platform, announced today it has raised an $18 million Series A funding round at a $60 million valuation led by New York investor Parkway Venture Capital.
The investment will be used to accelerate the company’s growth in EMEA and to fund the expansion into the North American market as the company leads the way in the new Virtual Reality as a Service (VRaaS) corporate training space.
Through its proprietary Virtual Reality (VR) offering combining software, content, and service, Gemba helps global enterprises seeking to train distributed workforces across multiple sites through highly immersive learning programs, simulated factory walks, and live training events – simply by putting on a VR headset.
“In the digital age, Gemba is an impactful solution to the biggest challenge faced by transformational leaders—the roll-out of powerful and effective training at scale, in a compelling and cost-efficient way,” said Gemba CEO, Nathan Robinson.
“Gemba is at the forefront of a new enterprise metaverse. It’s virtual, hands-on, cost efficient and the VR learning experience is incredible, but it’s the real-world ROI that’s been beyond expectations for our customers. Gemba is the right solution at the right time, and we are thrilled to welcome Parkway VC as partners in our joint mission to help people and organizations thrive in the next era of work.”
“We are excited to welcome Gemba to our growing portfolio of pioneering technologies of the future – at the intersection of AI, VR and simulation,” said Jesse Coors-Blankenship, Co-founder and General Partner, Parkway Venture Capital.
“Gemba is set to change the way global organizations train their workforces across all critical learning and development areas – from interactive, on-the-job skills training and safety all the way to leadership training. With its immersive platform and deep expertise in workforce training, Gemba is primed to scale and expand into multiple markets, emerging as the future-of-work training leaders for the 21st century enterprise,” added Gregg Hill, Co-founder and General Partner, Parkway Venture Capital. Both Jesse and Gregg are joining the Gemba board of directors.
Gemba grew out of executive training company The Leadership Network, founded in 2013 by CEO Nathan Robinson and Chairman Victor Lewis. Through its collaboration with global giants like Toyota, Tesla, Google, BMW and Amazon, senior executives from non-competing companies have been able to visit their state-of-the-art factories and facilities to see best practice in action as part of an executive Gemba masterclass.
The Parkway investment will accelerate the development of the platform, enabling people and companies to access Gemba on a subscription basis. Users will benefit from an ever-expanding virtual world of training simulations, tools and learning experiences that can be easily accessed through online app stores at any time from any location. With the introduction of colocation services, adaptable mixed reality spaces, AI-powered consultants, and a secure and customisable version for enterprise use at scale, Gemba is a reliable tool for transformation across the global workforce.
“As an educator, we know that 90% of learning is about engagement. Gemba allows users to learn and train in a whole new way. With higher engagement levels than traditional teaching and the combination of unprecedented levels of realism and a customized learning experience, it’s a revolutionary teaching tool,” said Frankie Cavanagh, Gemba’s Chief Technology Officer.
The Customer Experience
Gemba is trusted by over 4,000 executives from more than 675 companies, including Philips, Pfizer, Nike and Dell.
As published in The World Economic Forum’s Augmented Workforce white paper, leading automotive supplier Aptiv had limited expert resources available to deliver high quality training across 125 factories and more than 20 office areas. Gemba VR training enabled Aptiv to convey knowledge at a much higher depth and breadth with an 80% higher efficiency compared to real-world training. In the first year workforce satisfaction increased and $2m was saved from the elimination of travel and related expenses alone.
For Fortune 500 customers such as Caterpillar and Johnson & Johnson, Gemba is a viable, timely and proven solution that will reduce travel, make the most of management knowledge and give global workforces access to training, inspiration, coaching and events from any location. Gemba is positioned to quickly respond to these companies’ requirements and offers an agile deployment model that can rapidly expand from one site and replicate globally as required.
Laura Flanagan, Manager, Leadership Development, Johnson & Johnson, comments, “Gemba has been a great partner to date, and we are excited at Johnson & Johnson to integrate Gemba’s unique virtual reality training into our global leadership programs in 2023 and beyond.”