This startup is bringing virtual reality to autism therapy - Technical.ly DC

Access

Nov. 2, 2017 10:13 am

This startup is bringing virtual reality to autism therapy

Floreo raised $2.1 million in seed funding, and is hiring software engineers.

Floreo is working with multiple partners to develop VR therapy.

(Photo via Facebook)

Autism therapy has reached a new frontier. D.C. startup Floreo just closed on $2.1 million in seed funding to further development of its virtual reality. The Friendship Heights–based company was founded in March 2016 by husband-and-wife team Vijay Ravindran and Vibha Sazawal, who were inspired two years ago by their autistic son’s reaction to VR.

“The goal that we have for the company, our next stage, is to build a body of evidence that our therapy is effective, and as a parallel to that develop new therapy lessons and then work with professional organizations, special education schools and therapy companies – and then offer a version of Floreo directly to the consumer by next fall,” Ravindran told Technical.ly DC.

Ravindran and his wife have self-funded the company until now, and the new funds will be devoted to a staff expansion. That means the company is looking for a virtual reality and mobile app developers.

The company is currently testing two therapy pilot studies to improve nonverbal communication skills and interaction with police officers for autistic teens and adults.

One in every 68 children in the U.S. has autism, according to the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention.

“We think VR is a powerful medium because it allows for a lot of customization. The content is cartoony and fun, made to be engaging,” Ravindran said. “The virtual reality headset, when the child puts it on, they are able to focus on the VR screen. All the distractions are taken away. It’s common when we show this to parents how they remark that their child is paying attention.”

Advertisement

The $2.1 million in funding was provided by Presence Capital, GC VR Tracker FundMixi’s i-Mercury Fund, COLOPL VR Fund, Schoolhouse Partners and Lifeforce Capital.

Ravindran is a former chief digital officer at the Washington Post, and Sazawal is a former researcher and lecturer on children’s educational programming at the University of Maryland. The company has partnered with Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Entria Autism Services and Celebrate the Children to conduct research.

“We feel really excited how we can help lots of families,” Ravindran said. “We’re working hard, and we’re not going to offer this to families until we know that this works and we have a body of work that represents that.”

Check the Technical.ly Jobs Board for new opportunities -30-
JOIN THE COMMUNITY, BECOME A MEMBER
Already a member? Sign in here

Advertisement

A new cohort of product-centric startups is getting a boost from the Tandem Innovation Alliance

SparkLabs launches DC accelerator for cybersecurity and blockchain startups

SPONSORED

DC

Pitch for up to $360,000 in funding at the WeWork Creator Awards

Arlington, VA

i360

Software Quality Assurance Analyst

Apply Now
Arlington, VA

i360

Product Manager

Apply Now
New York, NY

LiveLike

Tech Lead, Mobile

Apply Now

DC Startup Week concludes with biggest turnout to date

4 startups we met at WeDC Fest Innovation Marketplace

TwentyTables takes first place at 2018 Startup Week DC pitch competition

SPONSORED

DC

VR is cool, but it isn’t mainstream. This local company has a fix for that

New York, NY

LiveLike

Project Manager

Apply Now
DC, SF, NYC

Nava

Experienced Software Engineer – Backend

Apply Now
Arlington, VA

i360

Application Developer

Apply Now

Sign-up for daily news updates from Technical.ly

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!