Oxford VR startup that offers first-of-kind VR-based mental health solutions secures €12M



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Founded by Barnaby Perks and Daniel Freeman in 2016, Oxford VR is a spin-out from Oxford University built on the work of Professor Daniel Freeman, who has been developing effective VR-based mental health treatments for 15 years.

Secured €12 million!

Recently the company has secured £10 million (approx €12 million) in a Series A funding round led by Optum Ventures and supported by Luminous Ventures. Also, the existing investors, including Oxford Sciences Innovation, Oxford University Innovation, and GT Healthcare Capital Partners, have participated in this investment round.

With the fund, the Oxford VR will accelerate US expansion of its evidence-based and scalable automated VR therapy solution and continue to expand its treatment pipeline.

Mental disorders on the rise!

Mental disorders are on the rise in every country around the world and will cost the global economy $16 trillion by 2030. Interestingly, the Oxford VR’s first clinical trial for fear of heights, which was published in The Lancet Psychiatry, shows how automated VR therapy can produce significant clinical benefits.

Having said that, the results achieved were significantly better than expected, with the best psychological intervention delivered face-to-face by a therapist.

This landmark trial also demonstrated automated VR therapy’s capacity to transform mental healthcare by helping overloaded providers expand access and standardise clinical excellence, ensuring adherence to treatment protocols.

- A message from our partner -

CEO Barnaby Perks said:

We are tremendously excited to close this investment round and to be working with Optum Ventures to drive our next level of growth. We would not be at this exciting tipping point without the collective efforts of the team at OVR, in particular, Katie Bedborough, our CFO & COO. Together with Optum Ventures and Luminous Ventures, and with the continued support from our existing investors, we can expand our clinical leadership footprint and accelerate our pipeline of automated VR therapy treatments.

Ash Patel, Principal at Optum Ventures, is joining the Oxford VR Board of Directors:

Oxford VR has taken a technology-led approach to create evidence-based solutions that will make treatment more accessible to patients who need it. We believe Oxford VR’s solutions will benefit those who need access to high quality, effective cognitive-behavioral therapy.

In addition to providing VR therapy to NHS patients, Oxford VR is participating in several trials. In the UK, the NHS-funded gameChange project is the first large-scale multi-site trial to use VR therapy to treat patients with serious and complex mental health conditions.

Testing VR’s potential to better mental health!

In Asia, Oxford VR has partnered with AXA Hong Kong and The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) in a first-of-its-kind pilot to test VR’s potential to support better mental health outcomes in Asia.

In the US, OVR has established a strategic partnership with the National Mental Health Innovation Centre (NMHIC), where it is running multiple pilots using VR therapy treatment programmes to advance mental health outcomes in the US.

Main image credits: Oxford VR

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The editorial team of Silicon Canals brings you technology news from the European startup ecosystem. 

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