Virtual reality entertainment backer has big plans for the Gulf Dubai-based equity fund Immersive Experiences (IEX) has revealed plans to double its portfolio in the next five years. The company launched XStrike, in Al Quoz, in December, a live-action combat simulation concept, and was set to open up Woo Hoo, an experimental edutainment centre aimed at parents and children, before the first Eid break earlier this year. The onset of coronavirus saw that delayed, with the launch now scheduled for next month, while further openings are planned across the UAE over the next 12 months, as well as the wider GCC region. Co-founder and managing partner, Sameer Ali, told Arabian Business: “We are looking at expanding. We’re looking at multiple stores in the UAE. We’re looking at expanding across Dubai and Abu Dhabi at the moment. We’re also looking at inter-GCC expansion, so we’re looking at Saudi Arabia, in Qatar.” “In five years’ time we’re looking at having multiple facilities across the GCC and the MENA region and we’re looking at expanding our portfolio of concepts. We currently have five concepts in our portfolio and we don’t see any reason why we can’t double that in the next five years, with a caveat being as long as it’s something new and as long as it’s a ‘hidden gem’ that hasn’t been discovered,” he added. As well as XStrike and Woo Hoo, the company also boasts MultiVRse, a bespoke virtual reality (VR) theme park; and WipeOut Park, an action-packed experience known from the famous television show. Formed in 2017, IEX raised $9.53 million to launch, with its first concept already proving popular before the global Covid-19 pandemic and the subsequent lockdown. “We’ve seen tremendous success since we launched. Our first three months were very strong. We were hitting numbers in March, which was our third month in operations, which we had forecasted for months seven and eight,” said Ali. “We were well ahead in terms of where we wanted to be with our numbers.” He explained that, during the period of closure, the company conducted extensive research among customers, establishing how they felt about returning to the facility and the measures they would like to see put in place, as well as those stipulated by the government, to ensure maximum health and safety standards. With the emirate gradually reopening over the latter part of the summer, Ali said they already witnessing the fruits of their labour. “Since we’ve started back up again revenues have tracked back up a lot faster than what we had previously imagined. We thought it was going to take up to October or November to recover again. We’ve already started recovering in August. We’re hitting levels in August that we didn’t think we’d hit until October or November,” he said. “This is testament to the pent-up demand there was during the lockdown.” That demand is also being felt across the wider GCC, according to Ali, who believed that the movement restrictions imposed to curb the spread of coronavirus has sparked a huge interest from investors. He said: “I think your savvy, sophisticated investors are recognising that this is an industry that’s poised to grow moving forward. “We’ve received a lot of interest. At the moment we’re not looking for any financial partners, we’re looking at strategic partners. We may be looking at additional fundraising rounds in the future to invest in additional projects. We always have something in the pipeline.” The company launched XStrike, in Al Quoz, in December, a live-action combat simulation concept, and was set to open up Woo Hoo, an experimental edutainment centre aimed at parents and children, before the first Eid break earlier this year. The onset of coronavirus saw that delayed, with the launch now scheduled for next month, while further openings are planned across the UAE over the next 12 months, as well as the wider GCC region. Co-founder and managing partner, Sameer Ali, told Arabian Business: “We are looking at expanding. We’re looking at multiple stores in the UAE. We’re looking at expanding across Dubai and Abu Dhabi at the moment. We’re also looking at inter-GCC expansion, so we’re looking at Saudi Arabia, in Qatar.” “In five years’ time we’re looking at having multiple facilities across the GCC and the MENA region and we’re looking at expanding our portfolio of concepts. We currently have five concepts in our portfolio and we don’t see any reason why we can’t double that in the next five years, with a caveat being as long as it’s something new and as long as it’s a ‘hidden gem’ that hasn’t been discovered,” he added. As well as XStrike and Woo Hoo, the company also boasts MultiVRse, a bespoke virtual reality (VR) theme park; and WipeOut Park, an action-packed experience known from the famous television show. Formed in 2017, IEX raised $9.53 million to launch, with its first concept already proving popular before the global Covid-19 pandemic and the subsequent lockdown. “We’ve seen tremendous success since we launched. Our first three months were very strong. We were hitting numbers in March, which was our third month in operations, which we had forecasted for months seven and eight,” said Ali. “We were well ahead in terms of where we wanted to be with our numbers.” He explained that, during the period of closure, the company conducted extensive research among customers, establishing how they felt about returning to the facility and the measures they would like to see put in place, as well as those stipulated by the government, to ensure maximum health and safety standards. With the emirate gradually reopening over the latter part of the summer, Ali said they already witnessing the fruits of their labour. “Since we’ve started back up again revenues have tracked back up a lot faster than what we had previously imagined. We thought it was going to take up to October or November to recover again. We’ve already started recovering in August. We’re hitting levels in August that we didn’t think we’d hit until October or November,” he said. “This is testament to the pent-up demand there was during the lockdown.” That demand is also being felt across the wider GCC, according to Ali, who believed that the movement restrictions imposed to curb the spread of coronavirus has sparked a huge interest from investors. He said: “I think your savvy, sophisticated investors are recognising that this is an industry that’s poised to grow moving forward. “We’ve received a lot of interest. At the moment we’re not looking for any financial partners, we’re looking at strategic partners. We may be looking at additional fundraising rounds in the future to invest in additional projects. We always have something in the pipeline.” Source: Arabian Business 2020-08-27 12:00:00 https://www.ld-export.com/upload/ld-export-b82aa4-large.jpg
Virtual reality entertainment backer has big plans for the Gulf

Publié le jeudi 27 août 2020. Temps de lecture : 8 minutes

Virtual reality entertainment backer has big plans for the Gulf

Dubai-based equity fund Immersive Experiences (IEX) has revealed plans to double its portfolio in the next five years.

The company launched XStrike, in Al Quoz, in December, a live-action combat simulation concept, and was set to open up Woo Hoo, an experimental edutainment centre aimed at parents and children, before the first Eid break earlier this year.

The onset of coronavirus saw that delayed, with the launch now scheduled for next month, while further openings are planned across the UAE over the next 12 months, as well as the wider GCC region.

Co-founder and managing partner, Sameer Ali, told Arabian Business: “We are looking at expanding. We’re looking at multiple stores in the UAE. We’re looking at expanding across Dubai and Abu Dhabi at the moment. We’re also looking at inter-GCC expansion, so we’re looking at Saudi Arabia, in Qatar.”

“In five years’ time we’re looking at having multiple facilities across the GCC and the MENA region and we’re looking at expanding our portfolio of concepts. We currently have five concepts in our portfolio and we don’t see any reason why we can’t double that in the next five years, with a caveat being as long as it’s something new and as long as it’s a ‘hidden gem’ that hasn’t been discovered,” he added.

As well as XStrike and Woo Hoo, the company also boasts MultiVRse, a bespoke virtual reality (VR) theme park; and WipeOut Park, an action-packed experience known from the famous television show.

Formed in 2017, IEX raised $9.53 million to launch, with its first concept already proving popular before the global Covid-19 pandemic and the subsequent lockdown.

“We’ve seen tremendous success since we launched. Our first three months were very strong. We were hitting numbers in March, which was our third month in operations, which we had forecasted for months seven and eight,” said Ali. “We were well ahead in terms of where we wanted to be with our numbers.”

He explained that, during the period of closure, the company conducted extensive research among customers, establishing how they felt about returning to the facility and the measures they would like to see put in place, as well as those stipulated by the government, to ensure maximum health and safety standards.

With the emirate gradually reopening over the latter part of the summer, Ali said they already witnessing the fruits of their labour.

“Since we’ve started back up again revenues have tracked back up a lot faster than what we had previously imagined. We thought it was going to take up to October or November to recover again. We’ve already started recovering in August. We’re hitting levels in August that we didn’t think we’d hit until October or November,” he said.

“This is testament to the pent-up demand there was during the lockdown.”

That demand is also being felt across the wider GCC, according to Ali, who believed that the movement restrictions imposed to curb the spread of coronavirus has sparked a huge interest from investors.

He said: “I think your savvy, sophisticated investors are recognising that this is an industry that’s poised to grow moving forward. “We’ve received a lot of interest. At the moment we’re not looking for any financial partners, we’re looking at strategic partners. We may be looking at additional fundraising rounds in the future to invest in additional projects. We always have something in the pipeline.”

The company launched XStrike, in Al Quoz, in December, a live-action combat simulation concept, and was set to open up Woo Hoo, an experimental edutainment centre aimed at parents and children, before the first Eid break earlier this year.

The onset of coronavirus saw that delayed, with the launch now scheduled for next month, while further openings are planned across the UAE over the next 12 months, as well as the wider GCC region.

Co-founder and managing partner, Sameer Ali, told Arabian Business: “We are looking at expanding. We’re looking at multiple stores in the UAE. We’re looking at expanding across Dubai and Abu Dhabi at the moment. We’re also looking at inter-GCC expansion, so we’re looking at Saudi Arabia, in Qatar.”

“In five years’ time we’re looking at having multiple facilities across the GCC and the MENA region and we’re looking at expanding our portfolio of concepts. We currently have five concepts in our portfolio and we don’t see any reason why we can’t double that in the next five years, with a caveat being as long as it’s something new and as long as it’s a ‘hidden gem’ that hasn’t been discovered,” he added.

As well as XStrike and Woo Hoo, the company also boasts MultiVRse, a bespoke virtual reality (VR) theme park; and WipeOut Park, an action-packed experience known from the famous television show.

Formed in 2017, IEX raised $9.53 million to launch, with its first concept already proving popular before the global Covid-19 pandemic and the subsequent lockdown.

“We’ve seen tremendous success since we launched. Our first three months were very strong. We were hitting numbers in March, which was our third month in operations, which we had forecasted for months seven and eight,” said Ali. “We were well ahead in terms of where we wanted to be with our numbers.”

He explained that, during the period of closure, the company conducted extensive research among customers, establishing how they felt about returning to the facility and the measures they would like to see put in place, as well as those stipulated by the government, to ensure maximum health and safety standards.

With the emirate gradually reopening over the latter part of the summer, Ali said they already witnessing the fruits of their labour.

“Since we’ve started back up again revenues have tracked back up a lot faster than what we had previously imagined. We thought it was going to take up to October or November to recover again. We’ve already started recovering in August. We’re hitting levels in August that we didn’t think we’d hit until October or November,” he said.

“This is testament to the pent-up demand there was during the lockdown.”

That demand is also being felt across the wider GCC, according to Ali, who believed that the movement restrictions imposed to curb the spread of coronavirus has sparked a huge interest from investors.

He said: “I think your savvy, sophisticated investors are recognising that this is an industry that’s poised to grow moving forward. “We’ve received a lot of interest. At the moment we’re not looking for any financial partners, we’re looking at strategic partners. We may be looking at additional fundraising rounds in the future to invest in additional projects. We always have something in the pipeline.”

Source: Arabian Business

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