HTC takes stake in Engage owner

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HTC’s continued interest in the Engage platform comes at a time when Covid-19’s disruption of working practices, events and international travel has prompted rapid innovation and product launches in immersive tech

Quick read

➨ HTC’s investment follows the success of the 2020 HTC Vive Ecosystem Conference, which was hosted on Engage 
➨ Immersive VR Education and HTC have also agreed a strategic licensing partnership
➨ HTC has become a shareholder and will appoint one non-executive director to the Immersive VR Education board

The story

The business relationship between HTC and the owner of the Engage platform continues to blossom at pace with a €3 million investment in Ireland-based Immersive VR Education.

HTC’s investment follows the success of the 2020 HTC Vive Ecosystem Conference, which was hosted on Engage in March following the Covid-19 outbreak, and the inking of a strategic licensing partnership that will see Immersive VR Education’s VR learning and training platform distributed globally through all HTC enterprise sales channels.

The Taiwanese consumer electronics company, whose Vive arm moved into remote collaboration and meetings earlier this month, has become a shareholder and will appoint one non-executive director to the Immersive VR Education board as part of the investment.

Immersive VR Education said it plans to invest the €3 million in Engage, build its sales and marketing capability, and produce new showcase experiences to support uptake of the platform.

Alvin Graylin, president of HTC China, pinpointed Engage’s performance as host of the 2020 HTC Vive Ecosystem Conference, for which approximately 2,000 participants from more than 55 countries registered, as a key reason for the investment.

Graylin said: “Earlier this year, we saw first-hand the kind of value we can deliver through Engage by successfully hosting our annual Vive Ecosystem Conference entirely in virtual reality. With the ongoing global pandemic, we recognise that now, more than ever, it is important to invest in and expand accessibility to XR technologies that enable human connection and maintain presence when we are all physically apart.”

“Through this partnership, we believe we can offer an important service to large groups of people to learn, share and collaborate with their peers around the world.”

“In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, which is set to catalyse long-term changes in working practices, Immersive VR Education and HTC’s combined offering provides a complete end-to-end service to alleviate the challenges posed by reduced travel due to health and climate change concerns.”

David Whelan, Immersive VR Education

David Whelan, chief executive officer of Immersive VR Education, welcomed the strengthening of the partnership with HTC. He said: “[The investment] will provide additional funding for the next stage of our development and allow us to progress the capabilities and commercialisation of our core Engage platform at a time when industries across the globe are adapting to new and innovative ways of working.”

“In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, which is set to catalyse long-term changes in working practices, VR Education and HTC’s combined offering provides a complete end-to-end service to alleviate the challenges posed by reduced travel due to health and climate change concerns.” 

“We look forward to this next stage of our development and continuing to work alongside HTC as a strategic partner and shareholder to provide these solutions for customers.”

HTC’s continued interest in the Engage platform comes at a time when Covid-19’s disruption of working practices, events and international travel has prompted rapid innovation and product launches in immersive tech.

In the past few months, HTC Vive alone has grown close to Immersive VR Education and Engage, launched Vive Sync, and announced plans to launch its own VR events service.

Main image: David Whelan, CEO, and Sandra Whelan, COO, Immersive VR Education. Picture by Shane O’Neill, SON Photographic
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