A BRITISH technology start-up set up by Cambridge graduates and which specialises in virtual simulation has raised $502 million from Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp, it said today (12).
The investment gives SoftBank a non-controlling stake in Improbable, and, according to the Financial Times, values the British company at over £1 billion ($1.29 billion).
Improbable uses cloud-based distributed computing to enable the creation of virtual worlds for use in games and massive-scale simulations of the real world.
“We believe that the next major phase in computing will be the emergence of large-scale virtual worlds which enrich human experience and change how we understand the real world,” said Improbable chief executive Herman Narula. His father is the construction magnate Harpinder Singh Narula.
The deal is the second major British investment by SoftBank in a year. Last July it purchased chip designer Arm Holdings for £24.3 billion, just weeks after the UK voted to leave the European Union.
SoftBank funds will be used to develop technology and will enable Improbable to accelerate recruitment in its London and San Francisco offices.
Improbable will also explore and identify opportunities for mutually beneficial relationships with SoftBank, its partners and portfolio companies.
Deep Nishar of SoftBank has joined the Improbable board following the investment.
“Improbable’s technology will help us explore disease, improve cities, understand economies and solve complex problems on a previously unimaginable scale,” he said.