Thangs.com creator Physna lands $20 million in funding, Victory Square hires Dooner to lead new Immersive Tech location-based VR experience, and Mass Virtual and US Air Force open VR learning laboratory
Thangs.com creator Physna lands $20 million in funding
Physna, the geometric deep-learning and 3D search solutions company, has raised $20 million in series B funding.
The round was led by Sequoia Capital with participation from Drive Capital, which led Physna’s Series A round in 2019.
The funds will be used to grow the company’s team and increase development to meet growing demand for its solutions.
Sequoia partner Shaun Maguire joins the board of directors with the latest round, which brings Physna’s total funding to $29 million.
Physna was founded in 2016 on the principle that computers can be taught to ‘think’ in 3D, and accurately describe the physical world.
Using complex mathematical analyses and advanced geometric deep learning technology, Physna codifies 3D models into detailed data that can be understood by software.
This approach enables an entirely new era of software. Physna allows designers, engineers, supply chain professionals and field workers to quickly find new 3D models by searching with predefined 3D objects, partial models, geometric measurements, or actual model data.
Shaun Maguire, partner at Sequoia, says: “Paul [Powers] and the Physna team have developed a breakthrough platform that enables intuitive search of 3D models for the first time.”
“With the amount of 3D data in the world about to explode, Physna will be the way this data is organised and accessed—ultimately, becoming the GitHub for 3D models.”
In addition to Physna’s enterprise solution, the company powers a free search engine for consumers called Thangs.com.
Thangs is an easy-to-use search tool for physical object and 3D model search, allowing users to search with models directly rather than relying on text.
Since launching in August 2020, hundreds of thousands of people have used Thangs to improve their workflow in everything from product design to 3D printing, with virtual and augmented reality model compatibility soon to follow.
The Physna team continues to add features at a fast pace with the announcement of significant updates to Thangs, including support for more complex content types beyond simple 3D models.
Thangs now supports assembly files from virtually any platform, allowing users to upload massive assemblies alongside their sub-assemblies and components.
Users can see how all the parts go together, and through Thangs’s light version of Physna’s core algorithms, see alternative ways to build the model.
This latest update brings Physna one step closer to making 3D models accessible and useful to everyone—regardless of their background.
Customers relying on Thangs as well as Physna’s enterprise software include the Department of Defense and a host of Fortune 100 companies in the aerospace, automotive, manufacturing, medical and robotics industries, among others.
Paul Powers, chief executive officer and founder of Physna, says: “Physna has enabled a quantum leap in technology by allowing software to truly understand physical 3D data. By merging the physical with the digital, we have unlocked massive and ever-growing opportunities in everything from geometric search to 3D machine learning and predictions.”
“Having both Sequoia and Drive endorse this next-generation of search and machine learning helps Physna empower even more technical innovations for our customers and the market as a whole.”
Victory Square hires Dooner to lead new Immersive Tech location-based VR experience
With more than 40 years of location-based entertainment experience, Dooner will play a pivotal role in fulfilling Immersive Tech’s goal of leading this application of virtual reality to new heights. At The VOID, he was in charge of development and location deployment.
Dooner joins the Immersive Tech executive team as director of franchise development with aggressive goals of launching the company’s Uncontained location-based virtual reality attractions to the entertainment market.
Uncontained is a riveting, realistic attraction that offers a captivating virtual reality experience inside a Covid-safe shipping container. It will launch in North America.
Tim Bieber, chief executive officer of Immersive Tech, says: “Steven Dooner is an exceptional executive with a sincere drive for innovation and progressing the location-based entertainment industry forward.”
“With experience spanning over 40 years, from the inception of Chuck E. Cheese franchise scale in the mid-70s to senior positions launching many of Disney’s location-based entertainment initiatives, including a $1.5 billion Tokyo Disney park expansion, he is a literal guru in the industry and we couldn’t be more thrilled to have him on our team.”
Dooner says: “Having spent my entire career in this industry, I have seen a variety of innovative concepts come to market. In some cases, an existing concept is enhanced and refined to the point where it sets itself apart from the rest. The Uncontained experience is one such concept.”
“Not only do they encompass the latest and best technology, but they have successfully addressed many of the capital and logistical concerns of the operator.”
Mass Virtual and US Air Force open VR learning laboratory
Immersive technology company Mass Virtual and the US Air Force Integrated Technology Platform (USAF ITP) have completed work on the 344th Training Squadron’s new virtual reality learning laboratory.
The learning lab is home to the Career Enlisted Aviator Center of Excellence tasked with training 2,700 students each year. The lab includes 33 virtual reality stations that offer highly interactive learning modules.
The launch of the lab follows Mass Virtual’s contract win to provide virtual training in partnership with the USAF ITP last year.
The five-year contract is worth $59 million in total. Initial orders amounted to $8.1 million and are scheduled to be completed by end of the 2021 financial year.
Mass Virtual is supplying its Virtual Hangar enterprise platform as part of the contract, to deliver immersive training on more than 20 aircraft.