LUMO Labs, an Eindhoven-based firm that creates opportunities for impact-driven software and smart hardware startups, announced on Thursday that it has invested €1M in Arnhem-based VR game tech company Enliven. LUMO Labs says the investment was made in collaboration with Oost NL.
Enliven says it will use the funds to accelerate platform development, brand visibility, and high-quality content production.
“We are delighted to take the next step together with LUMO and Oost NL,” says Alex Tavassoli, CEO and founder. “This investment will allow us to expand on the societal topics we address and the global reach of our content. We will now be able to reach and empower more people and organisations, ultimately touching more lives and achieving more positive change.”
Enliven: What you need to know
Founded in 2015 by Alex Tavassoli, an Iranian refugee who arrived in the Netherlands, Enliven uses Virtual Reality (VR) for a social cause. The company claims that its virtual experiences increase empathic capacity, provide more understanding, and strengthen connections with others.
Driven by two main goals — awareness and behavioural change, the company’s technology allows users to experience immersive simulations from a target’s point of view.
Enliven says the approach has proven to increase awareness of destructive behaviour’s emotional and mental impact and the likelihood of changing their behaviour.
“My biggest motivation is that every time someone experiences our content, they are exponentially more likely to act against domestic violence, bullying, or discrimination,” Tavassoli adds.
In addition to workplace situations, Enliven provides VR-enhanced simulations related to other real-life challenges such as divorce, domestic violence, and mental disability through the eyes of virtual personas.
All the VR simulations have been developed in close collaboration with and validated by prominent healthcare and security partners, including the Ministry of Justice and Security, the Police, the Public Prosecution Service, Probation Service Netherlands, and the Child Protection Board.
About LUMO Labs
Founded in 2016 by Andy Lurling and Sven Bakkes, LUMO Labs creates opportunities for impact-driven software and smart hardware startups.
The current LUMO Fund II is a €20M impact-driven multi-stage capital fund (pre-seed, up to and including Series A). It includes a two-year venture builder programme to support its portfolio companies in gaining financial success, social traction, and impact.
The company backs startups that align with at least one of the three UN Sustainable Development Goals – Sustainable Cities & Communities, Good Health & Well-Being, and Quality Education.
The VC invests in multiple sectors, including Artificial Intelligence/Data, Blockchain, the Internet of Things, Robotics and Drones, and Virtual Reality/Augmented Reality.
Sven Bakkes, Founding Partner at LUMO Labs, calls Tavassoli “an incredibly persistent and committed founder. He has been able to make it very clear why he needed the additional capital and access to our network and program for speed and growth. We look forward to supporting him and his expanding team to make it all happen!”
Oost NL: What you need to know
Oost NL is the regional development agency of the Eastern Netherlands. The firm invests in entrepreneurs in the east of the Netherlands.
The agency strengthens the regional economy on behalf of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy and the provinces of Overijssel and Gelderland. Oost NL is active in top sectors like Food, Energy, Health, and Tech.
Jordy Schaufeli, Investment Manager at Oost NL, says, “A safe and healthy working environment, where people treat each other with respect, determines the quality of the service and ensures sustainable employment. We are very happy to contribute to supporting Enliven in its journey to further develop its product and vision. The product is innovative, has a significant social impact, is human-centred, and contributes to social challenges we are facing today.”