Three year-old Improbable bags $20m from Andreessen Horowitz

London tech start-up helps support virtual and augmented reality simulations

Cambridge University spin-out Improbable has secured $20m from $4bn American venture capital (VC) firm Andreessen Horowitz.

Founded in 2012 by computer scientists Herman Narula and Rob Whitehead and now based in London, Improbable is a developer platform for virtual reality and augmented reality simulations – what it refers to as a “spatial operating system”.

Enabling developers to write code “as if it will only operate in one machine” without having to think about it operating in space, the company’s advanced offering has seen it attract a host of engineers from Google and top UK computer science programmes.

Discussing how its investment will help Improbable, Andreessen Horowitz’s Chris Dixon said:

“We are thrilled to partner with Improbable on their mission to develop and popularise simulated worlds.

“One initial application for the Improbable technology is in gaming. Game developers have been trying to build virtual worlds for decades, but until now those worlds have been relatively small, usually running on only a handful of servers and relying on hacks to create the illusion of scale.

“Beyond gaming, Improbable is useful in any field that models complex systems — biology, economics, defense, urban planning, transportation, disease prevention, etc.”

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