January 14, 2020
LOS ANGELES–California-based Embodied Labs, the leading immersive platform using virtual reality (VR) to revolutionize training for the aging care workforce, announced its seed funding of $3.2 million led by top age-tech investor, Ziegler Link·Age Fund, co-led by the leading immersive tech investor, The Venture Reality Fund, as well as SustainVC, a social impact fund in healthcare and education, WXR Fund, investing in women and the next wave of computing, and ETF@JFFLabs, a social impact fund that invests in technologies that close skill gaps and improve economic mobility.
“In addition to being oversubscribed in our initial investment round, we are thrilled with our unique mix of investors who have proven expertise across the convergence of aging, emerging technology, social impact, female empowerment and the need to transform our workforce training methods in health and aging care,” said Carrie Shaw, founder and CEO of Embodied Labs.
Founded in 2016, Embodied Labs uses the immersive experience of VR to put health care professionals and family caregivers into the body and mind of those who are challenged with lifespan aging issues: cognitive decline such as Alzheimer’s, age-related vision and hearing loss, neurodegenerative disease such as Parkinson’s and Lewy body dementia, and end-of-life decisions. Its training mission is twofold: enhance person-centered care through intellectual and instinctual behavior change and help long-term care providers recruit and retain a quality caregiver workforce.
The entire age-tech market is projected to be $40 billion and according to a Goldman Sachs report, VR in U.S. health care will capture 12.5 percent of the market by 2025. From a workforce training perspective, ABI Research found enterprise training based on VR had a 75 percent learning retention rate versus lecture (10 percent) or reading (15 percent) training.
“One of the target attributes we look for in our investment portfolio companies is a differentiated solution with broad market potential,” said John Hopper, chief investment officer, Ziegler Link·age Fund. “We are leading this investment round for Embodied Labs because it delivers a unique solution across our limited partners spectrum of senior living, home care, hospice and hospitals to train a workforce that spans four generations. Using this innovative VR tool to attract and retain valuable talent puts providers ahead of the curve operationally and with their customers.”
“Embodied Labs is at the intersection of immersive tech and age-tech innovation to establish its leadership in this huge market opportunity,” said Marco DeMiroz, co-founder and general partner of The Venture Reality Fund. “What attracted us to invest in Embodied Labs is its unique focus in VR to deliver transformative training in a turnkey tech-sophisticated package based on its comprehensive and innovative platform that is already receiving significant adoption by a traditionally tech-phobic long-term care.”
“VR technology offers a quantum leap in delivering empathy and understanding of our ever-growing aging population,” said Dr. Ken Dychtwald, aging visionary, author, co-founder of AgeWave and an angel investor in Embodied Labs. “I became an early seed funder in Carrie Shaw’s Embodied Labs because they’re committed to using cutting edge technology to provide better care for our aging population.”
“Female-driven innovation and influence, especially in age-tech, is exciting to see and I immediately embraced Carrie’s vision to use VR to create emotional intelligence in aging for better person-centered care,” said Maddy Dychtwald, author, co-founder of AgeWave and a founder of WomenAgainstAlzheimer’s, who is also an angel investor in Embodied Labs.
Embodied Labs has been selected as one of only 12 finalists to present at the prestigious Health 2.0 VentureConnect event held during the J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference in San Francisco the week of January 13. The event gathers highly vetted startups and venture capitalists in an exclusively curated showcase of the convergence of health care and technology.
Embodied Labs, headquartered in Los Angeles, is the leading VR immersive learning platform on aging population health issues training home care, senior living, hospice, medical and nursing schools, hospitals and employers interested in educating HR departments to better support its caregiving employees.
Working collaboratively with health care, gerontology, medical and clinical scientist experts as well as seasoned Hollywood filmmakers for powerful storytelling, the Embodied Labs solution has won the National AARP Caregiving Innovation Challenge, The United Healthcare & AARP OpenIDEO Caregiving for Dementia Challenge, The US Department of Education EdSim Challenge and The GlobalXR in Education Prize Challenge funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.