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Nick Hill

Virtual and augmented reality software firm receives £1.6m venture funding

Masters of Pie, a London-based technology firm specialising in virtual and augmented reality software, has secured £1.6m funding led by venture capital firm Downing Ventures.

The company’s ‘Radical’ technology platform uses virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) to allow industrial designers and production line specialists to securely load their 3D data into a virtual meeting space, where they can remotely collaborate with colleagues in real-time.

The first products launched by Masters of Pie feature a series of virtual reality updates and enhancements for computer-aided design (CAD), which is widely used across engineering and design industries (PLM).

This will allow CAD designers to visualise their 3D models at full scale, using desktop VR headsets for the purposes of design review and production enhancement.

Siemens, Europe’s largest industrial manufacturing company, has already adopted the company’s technology by integrating the virtual reality software with its own CAD software NX.

Masters of Pie has also worked directly with international brands Ford and Volkswagen.

Supported by the £1.6m funding led by Downing Ventures, the Masters of Pie team will build on the existing technology by investing in further research and development. The business is also planning to expand its development team through a number of strategic hires, while investing further in its sales and marketing functions.

Downing Ventures is part of the wider investment management business Downing LLP, which has over 30 years of experience and in excess of £1bn of funds under management.

James Lewis, investment director at Downing Ventures, said: “The virtual reality market presents an exciting investment opportunity for us as venture capital investors, with the emerging sector predicted to grow from $4bn in 2016 to nearly $80bn by 2021.

“The adoption of both virtual reality and augmented reality also looks set to increase as headsets become less expensive and computing power gets faster.

“Masters of Pie is a great example of what this type of technology is capable of. While the underlying software is incredibly intricate, the end result makes life so much simpler for the user and allows CAD technology to be far more intuitive.”

Karl Maddix, CEO at Masters of Pie, added: “Having spent a number of years proving the technology, finding market traction and securing commercial partnerships, it is absolutely the right time now to focus on the rapid growth of the business.

“Downing has a deep understanding of how to build upon solid foundations to quickly scale up for market success. They share our vision and our passion and we are pleased to bring them on board at this key stage in our journey.

“We are excited to be at the forefront of providing solutions to enterprise, currently focusing on the PLM sector but soon expanding to other industries, as they begin to leverage VR and AR and see the real value in a collaborative solution like Radical.”

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