VR startup aiming to tackle workplace bias raises $8m

San Francisco-based firm Mursion announces completion of an $8m Series A funding round as it looks to further develop its immersive VR training applications for workplaces


Mursion, a startup providing immersive VR training to improve emotional intelligence and reduce unconscious bias in the workplace, has announced the conclusion of an $8m Series A funding round led by New Markets Venture Partners.

Powered by AI and live human interaction, Mursion's simulations stage interactions between learners and avatars. Its technology draws upon research in learning science and psychology, and has been designed to enable workplace skills for learners and improve understanding of bias throughout organizations. The company has previously worked with 150 employers including the likes of Comerica, LinkedIn, Ebay, Coca-Cola and Nationwide.

"VR enables us to create a safe, anonymous space to practice difficult conversations," explained Mursion CEO Mark Atkinson. "Learners experience emotional 'danger' and stress, but they do so within the safety and anonymity of the simulation."

The company uses trained professionals who orchestrate interaction between learners and avatars, leading to realist simulations that aim to deliver measurable results, improve soft skills and tackle workplace discrimination.

"Owing to years of research, we may have finally achieved the right balance of artificial intelligence and human-reasoning to create effective training," claimed Mursion co-founder and CTO Arjun Nagendran. "We now have the potential to evoke changes in human behavior through virtual reality experiences."

New Markets Venture Partners was joined by the Schusterman Family Investment Office, Zoma Capital, New Schools Venture Fund, Propel Capital, Figure 8 Investments and the Strada Education Network in the funding round.

Of Mursion, New Markets Venture Partner Jason Palmer said: "It is tackling a set of challenges that are tightly coupled with our social impact mission, using technology that is both novel and increasingly scalable."

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