As we move closer to EBITDA breakeven, this tipping-point business is poised for substantial growth
Martin Higginson, chief executive
What it does
Customers can put on one of the Immotion headsets, sit in a pod or a racing car, for example, and take in experiences which range from rollercoaster rides to supercar racing right through to fighting alien invaders in space.
The company, which has a market cap of £17mln, also has an ‘edutainment’ – education and entertainment combined – division. York Museum, for example, used Immotion for its Jurassic exhibition and Sir David Attenborough opened the event feeding a dinosaur in virtual reality.
It has signed revenue-share agreements with a host of household names, such as Grosvenor Casino operator Rank, Thorpe Park parent Merlin Entertainment, The O2 Arena and Gravity trampoline parks.
Immotion puts its products in their sites and splits the revenue they generate, which can be upwards of £400 per headset per week.
It also sells its products outright to private buyers, operates in its arcades and licenses out its content and experiences to other companies.
How it’s doing
A quick look at last year’s figures will give you an idea of the kind of trajectory Immotion is on.
It generated a respectable £2.9mln in total revenue as virtual reality sales increased twelve-fold in the second half as it installed more of its headsets throughout the UK.
Chief executive Martin Higginson is confident that this growth still has a way to go after signing recent deals with Al Hokair Group, The O2, the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago, Santa Barbara Zoo, Dutch entertainment group iP2Entertainment and a studio backed by media firm MGM.
That growth is backed by a £3.3mln fundraise in February and a further £2mln equity raise in July, which will help it finance the roll-out of its headsets in more casinos, attractions and shopping centres.
Last month the company announced a shift in business strategy to focus on revenue sharing partnerships to roll-out its virtual reality pods into high footfall locations rather than direct sales.
This will help build a recurring revenue stream and help the group reach break even on an underlying basis faster, although there will be some short-term disruption.
What the boss says
In July’s strategy update, chief executive Martin Higginson said: "Since inception we have invested heavily in building a range of VR experiences, the quality of which has not been seen before at affordable price points in the 'out-of-home' VR market.
“This fact, combined with our proprietary reporting software, themed stands and on-going investment in VR motion platforms has positioned us well in this nascent market."
He said demand from aquaria partners was particularly strong and the company see this as a “highly scalable, potentially global opportunity”.
Higginson added: "As we move closer to EBITDA breakeven, this tipping-point business is poised for substantial growth. Our offering is unique, our experiences are the best in class, and our list of quality partners just gets better every day. With an offering that benefits our partners as much as us, we believe this model will allow us to lead this new and exciting market."