LUMO Labs and Oost NL invest in trailblazing XR empathy-training startup Enliven

Press release September 8, 2022

EINDHOVEN, Netherlands –  In syndication with Oost NL, LUMO Labs invests €1 million in virtual reality game tech company Enliven. This Arnhem-based Dutch startup combines virtual reality with realistic scenarios for groundbreaking empathy-training experiences in domestic and workplace settings. Its proposition for medium and large employers addresses some of the major threats to employee wellbeing today: bullying, discrimination, inequality and sexual harassment.

The new capital will allow Enliven to speed up high quality content production and platform development as well as increased brand visibility and other marketing efforts.

Enliven is based on the seemingly simple premises of “prevention through awareness.” Never before has it been possible to safely achieve the depth of awareness needed for actual impact. Through the innovative use of virtual reality and advanced gaming technology, Enliven has made this possible and accessible for employers and social institutions.

Enliven’s technology allows users to experience cutting-edge immersive simulations from a target’s point of view. The approach has proven to increase awareness of the emotional and mental impact of destructive behavior. It dramatically increases the likelihood that a trainee recognizes and changes his or her own behavior and calls out others to also do so. This increases employee happiness and well-being and ultimately leads to higher productivity. 

“This kind of innovation and impact fits our investment focus perfectly and comes at a crucial time for employers and caretakers around the world,” said LUMO Labs Founding Partner Andy Lürling. “Employee well-being increasingly is a top priority for companies across the globe. The Enliven enterprise experiences contribute to vital teams and positive working environments in an incredibly scalable and user-friendly way. It supports medium and large employers throughout the onboarding of new employees and strengthens existing employees and teams.”

In addition to work-place situations, Enliven provides VR-enhanced simulations related to other real-life challenges such as divorce, domestic violence and mental disability through the eyes of virtual personas.

Enliven was founded in 2015 by Alex Tavassoli, an Iranian refugee who arrived in the Netherlands at the age of eight. Tavassoli’s background in game development and his personal experience as a child of domestic violence led him to develop the concept “Don’t Forget Me,” Enliven’s simulation around the subject of domestic violence. It was awarded the JenV Innovation Award by the Dutch Ministry of Justice and Security.

“We are delighted to take the next step together with LUMO and Oost NL,” Tavassoli said. “This investment will allow us to expand on the societal topics we address and the global reach of our content. We will now be able to reach and empower more people and organizations, ultimately touching more lives and achieving more positive change.”

“My biggest motivation is that every time someone experiences our content, they are exponentially more likely to act against domestic violence, bullying or discrimination,” he added.

Sven Bakkes, Founding Partner at LUMO Labs, calls Tavassoli “an incredibly persistent and committed founder. He made it very clear why he needed the additional capital and access to our network and program for speed and growth. We look forward to supporting him and his expanding team to make it all happen!”

Jordy Schaufeli, Investment Manager at Oost NL, says “A safe and healthy working environment, where people treat each other with respect, determines the quality of the service and ensures sustainable employment. We are very happy that we can contribute to support Enliven in their journey to further develop their product and vision. The product is innovative, has a significant social impact, is human-centered and contributes to social challenges we are facing today.”

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