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United Rentals : Serious Labs raises $5m to develop VR equipment training

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08/15/2017 | 04:05pm CET

Canada'sSerious Labs has raised $5m of investment to continue the development of its platform of virtual reality (VR) training simulations for construction, lifting and material handling equipment - in a good sign for the application of the technology in the segment.

The Series A equity financing round saw investment from United Rentals, the largest equipment rental company in North America, and Brick and Mortar Ventures, a venture capital company focused on innovation in the construction sector

Serious Labs and United Rentals have previously partnered on the co-development of United's in-house online training, which has made it easier for its customers to conduct operator training - by lowering its costs and risk - and resulted in improved productivity and safety.

"Virtual reality can help customers work more safely and with greater productivity. Simulation offers hands-on training that mirrors the operator experience on a project site, but in a safe and controlled environment," said Jeffery Fenton, senior VP for business development at United Rentals.


Serious Labs has also secured $3.5m in new product development contracts to augment its existing suite of VR equipment simulations to include further crane, forklifts, backhoes and skidsteer models.

"Our technology is something that the industry is ready for as the boomers continue to retire and are replaced by the digital millennial workforce that likes to learn by doing rather than sitting in a traditional classroom," said Jim Colvin, CEO of Serious Labs.

"With our unique business model of working with industry domain experts, we have attracted the attention of many global companies looking to take their training content into the 21st century."

The technology platform already has a significant global customer base, with clients from across the construction, mining, plant and maintenance, and oil and gas industries.

Darren Bechtel, MD of Brick and Mortar Ventures, added: "Virtual reality is already the gold standard in aeronautics and aviation, and adoption is now beginning in the architecture-engineering-construction world. Equipment operator training presents a ripe market for VR simulation."

Earlier this year, Serious Labs won an award from the International Award for Powered Access (IAPA), whose judges noted: "This VR simulator brings to the access industry technology what has previously only been available in the military and aerospace industries."

(c) 2017 ITP Business Publishing Ltd. All Rights Reserved. Provided by SyndiGate Media Inc. (Syndigate.info)., source Middle East & North African Newspapers

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Financials ($)
Sales 2017 6 592 M
EBIT 2017 1 717 M
Net income 2017 742 M
Debt 2017 8 865 M
Yield 2017 -
P/E ratio 2017 19,62
P/E ratio 2018 14,15
EV / Sales 2017 3,45x
EV / Sales 2018 2,95x
Capitalization 13 895 M
Duration : Period :
United Rentals, Inc. Technical Analysis Chart | URI | US9113631090 | 4-Traders
Technical analysis trends UNITED RENTALS, INC.
Short TermMid-TermLong Term
Income Statement Evolution
Mean consensus HOLD
Number of Analysts 19
Average target price 148 $
Spread / Average Target -9,8%
EPS Revisions
Michael J. Kneeland President, Chief Executive Officer & Director
Jenne K. Britell Non-Executive Chairman
Matthew John Flannery Chief Operating Officer & Executive Vice President
William B. Plummer Chief Financial Officer & Executive Vice President
Dale A. Asplund Chief Information Officer & SVP-Business Services
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