First Day of Dealings on AIM and ESM
VR Education Holdings plc, a leading virtual reality ('VR') technology company focused on the education space, is pleased to announce that today, its ordinary shares have, at 08.00 hours, commenced trading on AIM under the ticker VRE and on the ESM of the Irish Stock Exchange under the ticker 6VR ('Admission'). As part of the Admission process, the Company has raised £6 million before expenses, through an oversubscribed placing of 60,000,000 new ordinary shares at a placing price of 10p each, implying a market capitalisation of circa £19.3 million on Admission.
Shard Capital Partners LLP is Joint Broker to the Group, Cairn Financial Advisers LLP is acting as Nominated Adviser, while Davy is Joint Broker and acting as ESM Adviser.
- VR software and technology group focused on transforming the delivery and effectiveness of digital education and corporate training
- £6 million (gross of expenses) raised to further develop virtual social learning and presentation platform, ENGAGE, advance its marketing strategy and produce new showcase VR content
- ENGAGE, to be rolled out during 2018, allows educators and trainers to hold lessons, meetings and presentations in a safe, virtual, multi-user environment as well as create pre-recorded or live content
- Current early revenues from showcase VR experiences including award-winning Apollo 11 VR and Titanic VR
- Blue-chip partners include Oxford University, the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland and the BBC
- Strong market dynamics with rapidly increasing use of VR as well as Augmented and Mixed Reality
- Highly experienced and successful management team
David Whelan, CEO, said, "The VR/AR market is growing at a fast rate; as hardware becomes more affordable, this growth will undoubtedly gain further traction and we are at the forefront of this.
"As a VR software and technology group operating in the niche education sector, we provide students, educators and corporate trainers with a real alternative to attending brick and mortar institutes; benefits include cost-savings and course completion rates amongst others. Having raised £6 million and with the support of our new shareholders, our focus is now on strengthening our network of educational institutions and corporations, which already includes the likes of Oxford University and the BBC, and building our sales team to roll out and position ENGAGE as the go-to platform of choice for digital education and simulated training globally. Furthermore, we aim to strengthen our portfolio of compelling content, replicating the success of our revenue generating, award-winning experiences including Apollo 11 VR and Titanic VR, whilst also helping others to create content for their own lessons.
"Given the anticipated high volume of activity and steady stream of news ahead, I am confident that we will deliver value to shareholders."
Richard Cooper, Non-Executive Chairman, said, "The board is delighted that investors have been so supportive of our IPO and the presentations made by the management team in the last few weeks. We look forward to having a regular dialogue with these shareholders over the coming years as the business seeks to rapidly develop its VR education offering."
The full Admission document and further information can be found on the Group's website: www.vreducationholdings.com.
Chief Operating Officer
|VR Education Holdings plc||T: +353 (0)87 665 6708
|Damon Heath / Erik Woolgar||Shard Capital Partners LLP Joint Broker||T: +44 (0)20 7186 9952
|Fergal Meegan/Ronan Veale/Barry Murphy||Davy
Joint Broker & ESM Adviser
|T: +353 1 679 6363
|James Caithie/Liam Murray/Richard Nash||Cairn Financial Advisers LLP Nominated Adviser||T: +44 (0) 7213 0880|
|Isabel de Salis / Priit Piip||St Brides Partners Ltd
UK Financial PR
|T: +44 (0)20 7236 1177
Frans Van Cauwelaert
Irish Corporate PR
|T: +353 1 669 0030
VR Education, together with its wholly owned subsidiary, Immersive VR Education limited, is an early stage VR software and technology group based in Waterford, Ireland, dedicated to transforming the delivery methods of education and corporate training by utilising VR technologies to deliver fully immersive virtual learning experiences. The Group's core focus is the development and commercialisation of its online virtual social learning and presentation platform called ENGAGE, which provides a platform for creating, sharing and delivering proprietary and third-party VR content for educational and corporate training purposes.
In addition to the ongoing development of the ENGAGE platform, the Group has also built two downloadable showcase VR experiences, being the award-winning Apollo 11 VR experience and an early access version of the Group's Titanic VR experience.
Richard Quentin Mortimer Cooper, Chairman and Non-Executive Director (aged 57)
Richard was appointed as Chairman and Non-Executive Director of the Group on 1 November 2017. He also serves as a Non-executive of Sportech plc. From December 2008 to February 2017, Richard was the Group Finance Director of GVC Holdings plc, the multinational online sports betting and gaming group. During his tenure at GVC Holdings plc, the value of the company grew from £29m to £2.4bn and became a constituent member of the FTSE 250 on 19 September 2016. He has experience of public markets including AIM, Standard List and Premium List. He spent the early part of his career in the financial markets where he was Finance Director at the principal UK subsidiary of the Tullett and Tokyo Group (a forerunner of Tullett Prebon plc) and Chief Financial Officer at Fidelity Brokerage. He then undertook a number of restructuring roles, including working as Finance Director at Patsystems Group plc, a financial software company. He is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales, having trained and qualified with Saffery Champness in London.
David Patrick Whelan, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder (aged 37)
David is the Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of the Group and previously the editor-in-chief of Virtual Reality Reviewer and a founding member of the Virtual Reality Awards. Prior to founding Virtual Reality Reviewer with Sandra Whelan, David was the owner and web developer of Whelan Web Design, where he offered web development services to small and medium clients from 2008 to 2014; David subsequently sold the business to a local competitor.
Sandra Margaret Whelan, Chief Operating Officer and Co-Founder (aged 36)
Sandra is the Chief Operating Officer and co-founder of the Group. From 2010 to 2015, Sandra was a Senior Operations Analyst at eDrive Group where she was primarily responsible for logistical planning of engineers for corporate clients in the logistics industry. While at eDrive Group, Sandra co-founded and edited the Virtual Reality Reviewer website together with David Whelan. Upon leaving eDrive Group, Sandra began working for IVRE full time. Sandra is the common law wife of David Whelan.
Séamus Patrick Larrissey, Chief Financial Officer (aged 32)
Séamus became the Chief Financial Officer of the Group on 21 August 2017. He previously served as a Senior Project & Management Accountant at Telecommunications Software and Systems Group ("TSSG") from 2013 to 2017. At TSSG he worked across projects to support the commercialisation process by developing business and financial models for new product/spinout launches. During this period, he was also the Financial Controller at Fuseami Limited, a start-up conference networking service company. Prior to joining TSSG, Séamus was an Audit Assistant Manager at Ernst & Young where he gained significant auditing and accounting experience across a broad spectrum of industries for nearly seven years. Séamus holds a Bachelor of Business Studies in Accountancy from Waterford Institute of Technology and is part of the Institute of Chartered Accountants.
Michael Joseph Boyce, Independent Non-Executive Director (aged 45)
Michael has extensive experience in the education space having taken on various roles in the sector. Since June 2017, Michael has been the Educational Sales Manager at Capita One Education where he works with Local Education Authorities to support their strategic objectives and data intelligence from their schools. He has also worked for GL Education since April 2005 and currently acts as the Business Development Manager of the Academy Chains South. Michael has also worked as a Sales Executive for Serco Learnings from June 2003 to April 2005 and as a Sales Consultant for Viglen Ltd, a supplier of IT, technology, hardware, software and technical support to Education from September 2000 to June 2003.
Antony Christopher Hanway, Independent Non-Executive Director (aged 50)
Anthony is an experienced Senior Executive having worked on boards in five European countries. He has been the CEO of Virgin Media and Chairman of TV3 since 2015 where he is responsible for all VM Cable and Broadcasting assets. Prior to Virgin Media other roles include working as Chief Commercial Officer for Telefonica O2 Germany plc from 2013 to 2015, and as CEO of O2 Ireland from 2011-2014. He has held Director roles at Telefonica technology start-up accelerator Wayra Academy from 2013-2015, Spanish etravel company Rumbo from 2010-2012 and Tesco Mobile Ireland from 2013-2015. Anthony also served as the Chairman of the Irish Telecom and Internet Federation from 2013-2014.