Transfr – an emerging virtual reality-based skills training leader for middle-skilled careers – recently announced a $40 million investment today. The Series C growth funding round was led by ABS Capital to develop further Transfr’s virtual reality (VR) simulation and training platform and to expand its programs to accommodate its rapidly growing customer base – which has more than doubled year over year from 2019-2023.
JPMorgan Chase Impact Finance and Advisory joined the Series C round along with existing investors Lumos Capital Group (who led the Series B), Akkadian Ventures, Spring Tide Capital, and Firework Ventures (who led the Series A), and Album (who led the Series Seed). And this funding round brings the total investment in Transfr to more than $90 million since its founding in 2017.
Middle-skills careers have been defined as jobs that require more training and education than a high school diploma but less than a four-year college degree and are considered the backbone of America’s workforce. And this category makes up more than half of the U.S. labor market, while only 43% of the labor force has the training required to fill these roles. This lack of training available to those looking to fill these jobs presents an opportunity for the private and public sectors to invest in solutions that make it easier to close the skill gap.
Transfr aims to scale access to quality education and employment for everyone, regardless of background or location. And the company developed an innovative VR-based platform, which hosts over 300 simulations that focus on careers that do not require a four-year degree. Plus, it has established a first-mover advantage in the Career Training and Education (CTE) market, with VR simulation training seeing $263 billion in global spending annually with an opportunity for rapid growth.
Transfr is now deployed nationwide in more than 1,000 locations, including community colleges, trade schools, employers, prisons, and K-12 schools across Automotive, Aviation, Construction, Diesel, Electrical, Hospitality and Tourism, Manufacturing, and Healthcare. And with this diverse industry set, Transfr has increased its user base by 10x over the last year, with trainees having completed over 400,000 simulations, helping incumbent workers, job-seekers, and students leverage the company’s virtual reality platform to build the skills needed to excel in middle-skills careers.
Phil Clough of ABS Capital Partners will join Transfr’s board of directors, and Jennifer Krusius of ABS Capital will serve as a board observer.
Transfr plans to utilize the capital investment to build out its executive leadership team further and scale its platform and impact, enabling more people to explore, learn, and connect with career opportunities in high-growth sectors such as manufacturing, skilled trades, and healthcare. This funding round will also be used to invest in developing new training simulations that cover a wider range of skills and scenarios and enhance existing ones with more features, including offering training in Spanish.
“About two-thirds of the American workforce do not have a college degree.1 There is a massive opportunity for both private and public entities to utilize VR training programs to create alternative pathways to employment. This $40 million investment enables Transfr to continue to invest in undiscovered talent by developing more simulations and solutions to connect the classroom to career pathway with our partners in education and industry and hire the talent we need to scale and achieve our mission.”
— Bharani Rajakumar, Transfr founder and CEO, and Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Finalist
“We believe that Transfr and its experienced management team are uniquely positioned to capitalize on the tailwind from the challenges in the labor market by providing innovative training solutions that can efficiently bring qualified candidates to market.”
— Phil Clough
“Transfr’s VR platform offers a cost-effective alternative in the educational landscape that can reach many workforce candidates that otherwise would not have had access to this level of training and coaching.”
— Jennifer Krusius