In an impressive piece of news coming from the UK, a British technology startup co-founded by an Indian-origin entrepreneur has achieved the admirable feet of reaching more than a USD 1 billion valuation after it recently raised a whopping USD 502 million in a Series B funding round, led by SoftBank. The funding is being deemed as one of the largest venture capital deals in the whole of United Kingdom.
Starting its journey in 2012, Improbable is a virtual reality tech firm, which focuses on large-scale simulations in the cloud, enabling virtual worlds of unprecedented scale and complexity. The startup is a result of hard work of Indian origin Herman Narula (CEO) and his Cambridge University friend, Rob Whitehead (CTO). They are joined in the journey by Peter Lipka (COO), who is an Imperial College graduate and worked at Goldman Sachs prior to launching Improbable.
The London headquartered startup has gained immense success in a period of just 5 years and now has nearly 200 employees, with offices in London and San Francisco.
With a mission of powering previously unmakeable games and answering previously unanswerable questions that can lead to a better functioning world, Improbable makes use of cloud-based computing to create virtual worlds for use in games as well as large-scale simulations of the real world.
During its 5-years journey, Improbable has always been supported by some of the largest and most visionary investors in the world. In March 2015, Improbable received $20m in Series A funding from Andreessen Horowitz. In July 2015, a follow-on Series A investment saw Horizons Ventures lead a $30m funding round, with Temasek, the Singaporean investment company, contributing $5m.
However, the USD 502 million Series B funding round led by SoftBank, a Japanese telecoms and technology firm, is being considered as the largest ever funds injection in a European tech startup till date. SoftBank has decided to put its managing director Deep Nishar on Improbable’s board and will have only a minority stake in the startup’s business.
According to Narula, the startup’s Series B funding round reflects the potential size and importance of the market for this next generation of games and, how massive- scale virtual worlds could become fundamental to how the society functions, in the near future.
The startup has decided to utilise the funding received to develop the company’s Spatial OS operating system and to hire more people in its offices in London and San Francisco.