Read time: 6 minutes

We sat down with Vinh Ly, Chief Technology Officer and co-founder of Moonhub to delve into the world of using Virtual Reality to train people.

What is Moonhub and what sets you apart from your competitors? 

Moonhub is a virtual reality training platform that exists to unify training across all industries and is scalable across all businesses. We provide off-the-shelf training experiences that are CPD [Courses for Professional Development] certified, as well as bespoke training experiences for clients who want their training content tailored specifically to their needs.

In 2016, CEO Dami Hastrup, Chief Operating Officer Hannah Sutcliffe and I co-founded Moonhub. Our patented scoring system captures rich, insightful data from each situational-based training scenario, which is then fed into our user-focused data analytics dashboard.

Users are then able to track progression across various training modules over time and managers can see where they need to focus on for improvement across their teams.

What is so special about the VR approach?

Immersive experiences are a lot more effective than traditional classroom-based training experiences. Studies have shown that after a two-week period with classroom-based learning you only retain up to 10% of the information, whereas in an immersive environment retention rates are up to 75%.

"Learning in VR also guarantees consistent training experiences every single time, and from a sustainability perspective there is no need to transport and accommodate employees."

For those who’ve never experienced VR training, can you give an example of how it works?

Immersive training is about the emotional connection as much as the training; if you have a scenario where you're witnessing a carer treat a dementia patient in front of your eyes, you can see the emotion in their faces. In practical terms, we plan and capture scenarios in real-life environments using our 360º camera, which allows the user to look around the entire space.

The idea is to replicate the employee’s workspace and run various scenarios around them where they need to react or have their knowledge tested. Training in VR is also a safe space where there is no risk of losing valuable or loyal customers. The way we create our learning experiences is always in line with a company’s learning objectives and allows learners to see consequences of the wrong choices they make play out.

Can you expand on the history of Moonhub, and any key milestones?

The first two years were all about market research and validating our idea. We built our minimum viable product and showcased it at Boots and HSBC, to name a few. In 2018, a private investor invested £100,000, which allowed us to expand our team and have an office space.

A year later, we received further investment from the same investor, of just over £160,000. In 2020, we received an investment of £100,000 from Miles Jacobson, the studio director behind Sports Interactive, creators of Football Manager, and in February this year we received a further $2.6m.

We’ve been backed by many angels, with our main VCs being Ada Ventures and Pi Labs. Total investment to date has been close to $3m. Earlier this year we were backed by Google and Meta. This allowed us to enter programmes that have empowered us and helped us scale.

Who are your clients?

Our clients vary from industry to industry. Within the security space, we’re partnered with Corps Security, the oldest security firm in the world, and we’ve filmed in some amazing spaces, including Somerset House and The Royal Opera House. Other clients include Sports Interactive, Anglian Care, HereEast, Samsic, Bidvest Noonan and ISS.

What’s the cost of VR training compared to traditional methods?

VR training can be up to 64% cheaper at scale. Once a training experience is created, everyone in the company can have access due to the nature of how the training is delivered. Costs are also saved because companies don’t need to spend money on transport for employees, or for them to stay in hotels.

Can you describe the current challenges you face, and how are you hoping to overcome them?

When selling a new technology such as VR, one thing is changing people's perceptions of what they think about VR.

"VR is highly saturated in the gaming industry and changing the narrative - turning VR from a gimmick and being very expensive into VR being the most effective form of training - is a challenge."

However, our client case studies and the feedback we are getting from our clients helps us to strengthen our ability to do this.

What advice would you offer to someone starting on their own journey in this world?

Have patience with yourself, the process and the journey. Everything happens in its own time and at its own pace. Trust that you will get exactly where you need to be at the right time.

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