Zoe Immersive

Early Stage

Immersive 3D Creation Platform

Analytics

Raised to Date: Raised: $185,767

Aggregate Commitments $

Platform

StartEngine

Start Date

07/30/2021

Close Date

03/28/2022

Min. Goal

$10,000

Max. Goal

$1,069,999

Min. Investment

$200

Security Type

Equity - Common

Funding Type

RegCF

Series

Pre-Seed

Pre-Money Valuation

$12,641,933

Rolling Commitments $

Status

Active

Reporting Date

01/27/2022

Days Remaining

60

% of Min. Goal

1,858%

% of Max. Goal

17%

Likelihood of Max
unlikely
Avg. Daily Raise

$1,026

Momentum
cool.svg
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Location

Los Angeles, California

Industry

Education, Training, & Coaching

Tech Sector

EdTech

Distribution Model

B2B/B2C

Margin

Medium

Capital Intensity

Low

Business Type

High Growth

Zoe Immersive, with a pre-money valuation of $12.6 million, is raising funds on StartEngine. The software company has launched a remote learning solution and marketplace, Zoe. The platform allows users to create and share interactive and immersive 3D learning experiences. Emilie Joly, Maria Beltran, and Sylvian Joly founded Zoe Immersive in July 2015. The proceeds of the current crowdfunding round, with a minimum raise of $9,999.99 and a maximum raise of $1,069,998.86, will be used to add more valuable content items to the platform and grow. Zoe Immersive is addressing the huge and growing EdTech market and leverages 3D technologies.

Summary Profit and Loss Statement

Most Recent Year Prior Year

Revenue

$97,489

$130,404

COGS

$46,009

$0

Tax

$0

$0

 

 

Net Income

$-169,188

$-29,612

Summary Balance Sheet

Most Recent Year Prior Year

Cash

$77,260

$82,122

Accounts Receivable

$29,810

$3,459

Total Assets

$107,518

$86,246

Short-Term Debt

$65,881

$89,050

Long-Term Debt

$676,562

$460,100

Total Liabilities

$742,443

$549,150

Financials as of: 07/30/2021
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Ratings KingsCrowd Startup Rating Methodology Article

Analyst Report Analyst Report Methodology Article

Synopsis

Virtual reality (VR) has been a buzzword for the better part of a decade. Once promised to help users entirely reimagine the world, the expectations for virtual reality have cooled somewhat. Some even argue that virtual reality has overpromised and under-delivered.

After a few years of sluggish growth, interest in VR seems to have rebounded in the last year. Sales of virtual reality headsets grew 50% year-over-year in the first quarter of 2021. Perhaps after a year of isolation and quarantine, people are more open than ever to exploring worlds outside of their own. 

Experts in a wide variety of industries have speculated that VR could reimagine any number of fields, from healthcare to retail. One of the industries that could benefit most from virtual reality is education. Textbooks and other traditional models of education are growing stale, particularly for a generation of kids used to interacting with rich digital worlds on smartphones and other devices. Virtual reality could enliven and enrich the educational experience. 

Zoe hopes to harness the potential of VR in education with its marketplace of virtual reality and augmented reality learning experiences. Anyone can use Zoe to build virtual worlds, no coding required. Students can then access these virtual worlds for hands-on learning. Zoe hopes to encourage creators worldwide to build their own virtual lessons and environments for students, selling them to teachers and parents. This model is reminiscent of Roblox. 

Zoe Immersive’s current StartEngine raise has been rated a Neutral Deal by the KingsCrowd investment team. 

Price

Zoe Immersive is offering equity at a $12.6 million valuation, which is somewhat high for the company’s current stage. Zoe brought in less than $100,000 in 2020, and revenue decreased between 2019 and 2020. Therefore, this valuation represents a 126x revenue multiple, which is much too high for an early stage software business (particularly one that doesn’t employ any engineers, raising questions about whether the tech is built in-house). However, a $12.6 million valuation is on par with other early stage startups that are currently raising capital online. Balancing these factors together, Zoe Immersive receives a moderate price score.

Market

Education is a field that stands to be revolutionized by virtual reality (VR). Modern students are hungry for diversified learning opportunities that blend the physical and digital worlds, and immersive VR experiences can lend many of the benefits of hands-on learning. It’s no surprise then that the global market for virtual reality in education is expected to grow at 42.9% annually over the next five years, hitting $13 billion by 2026. North America holds the largest share of this market.

Zoe Immersive is far from bringing in any sizable portion of this market. However, the tremendous growth potential in this industry is a very positive sign for the company. There’s room for many players in this space, and Zoe could easily build a name for itself in community-generated content that lends flexibility and interactivity to VR education. Therefore, Zoe’s market rating is good.

Team

Zoe Immersive was founded by a team of three Swiss product and interaction designers. The three previously collaborated on a more general virtual reality (VR) software development studio that built VR products in education. Zoe is led by CEO Emilie Joly, who holds a master’s degree in interaction and gaming design. After spending two years as a game design researcher at her design school alma mater in Geneva, Joly joined her two co-founders to create apelab. The studio built a variety of spatial computing programs to empower virtual reality and augmented reality education. 

Maria Beltran, Zoe’s chief product officer, has a similar background to Joly. She graduated with a master’s degree in media design from the same graduate school as Joly and also spent several years as a graduate researcher before launching apelab. Head of Design and Communications Sylvain Joly has the same background, with a graduate degree in media design and seven years of experience designing virtual reality and augmented reality educational experiences through apelab. 

Each of Zoe’s team members is an advanced scholar of interaction design and has many years of experience designing products in this particular industry. It’s also a huge asset that the three co-founders have worked together for seven years on products that could be considered Zoe’s direct predecessors. Zoe also has an extensive network of investors and advisors. However, the Zoe team doesn’t include anyone with business experience, sales and marketing expertise, or most importantly, engineering talent. It’s not clear how Zoe has brought its current product into existence without an in-house engineering team. Investors should be aware that relying on external developers could limit the company’s independent growth. 

Given the strength of the co-founders and the wide network of advisors, Zoe’s team score is favorable. 

Differentiators

Zoe Immersive has an interesting vision for its unique niche in the educational VR market. While other companies are focused on developing extensive content libraries or lesson plans for students, Zoe is applying the theory of a creator economy to the educational virtual reality (VR) space. The creator economy is very trendy right now, given the explosion of ways for anyone to begin creating and monetizing content online. Applying that concept to educational VR seems to be a strong differentiator that could help Zoe make a name for itself among other, more traditional educational technology companies. 

However, it’s worth noting that Zoe’s existing technology doesn’t appear to be particularly impressive or competitive with well-funded software companies developing VR tech. Without a stronger product experience or proprietary technology, Zoe is open to competition from other VR tech companies that could easily open their platforms up to democratized content creation. For now, though, Zoe is an early mover in bringing VR to the education sphere. For that reason, the company scores fairly well in the differentiators metric.

Performance

Zoe Immersive’s financials are tricky to decipher because the company seems to be entangled with the co-founders’ other educational software company called apelab. In its Form C filing, the company presents financials for apelab that indicate 2020 revenue of more than $381,000 with a net loss of $170,000. However, on Zoe’s StartEngine page, an abbreviated display of financials lists revenue from the past fiscal year as just $97,489. Worryingly, revenue for the previous fiscal year (presumably 2019) was higher, above $130,000. It’s a concerning sign that Zoe lost money year-over-year, especially considering that the COVID-19 pandemic should have theoretically caused interest in a virtual reality (VR) education program to spike. 

Zoe’s financials aren’t very compelling. However, the company has demonstrated decent traction in other areas. The company has partnered with many educational institutions to create virtual reality and augmented reality content. More than 1,000 creators have expressed interest in signing up for Zoe. Those figures align with the other side of Zoe’s marketplace. The company boasts more than 1,000 registered teachers and students ready to consume content. Zoe is also partnered with both Unity and Facebook, both of which promote the ability to create and explore content on Zoe. Lastly, Zoe was recognized as a GSV Cup Elite 200 Finalist, a meaningful endorsement in the educational technology industry. 

While Zoe isn’t demonstrating surging revenue, the company has had decent success garnering partnerships and early user traction to prove out its content marketplace model in education VR. As a result, the company’s performance rating is strong.

Risks

An investment in Zoe is relatively less risky than many other crowdfunding opportunities. Zoe’s three co-founders have been running an educational software company together for more than seven years, and much of that time was spent conducting the research and development that informed Zoe’s current presentation. The biggest source of risk is financial. Zoe made less money in 2020 than it did in 2019, which seems counterintuitive given the increased popularity of educational virtual reality (VR) during COVID-19. The company also holds more than $700,000 in debt. It will be vital for the company to begin generating revenue and growing its customer base in order to overcome debt and margin issues.

Bearish Outlook

Virtual reality (VR) is a cutting-edge industry. Most people have never tried on a VR headset, and there’s a long way to go before VR is widespread in the classroom. Zoe Immersive is among an early wave of companies trying to carve out a foothold in this emerging space, which means the company has yet to prove product-market fit or revenue potential. The team isn’t making it any easier by focusing on a marketplace model. Marketplaces require consistent demand on both sides, typically with strong network effects. It seems as though building excellent technology, educating the industry about the benefits of VR instruction, and building out a sustainable two-sided marketplace might be too much for this small team of interaction designers. It’s simply too soon to say whether Zoe has what it takes to survive and thrive, particularly given the company’s weak financials. 

Bullish Outlook

Virtual reality (VR) has the power to entirely reshape industries like education. If surging sales of VR headsets are any indication, the technology might finally be taking off enough among consumers (and their children) to become viable for classroom use. Zoe Immersive has the opportunity to lead the field in VR educational content, given the endless content possibilities derived from a creator marketplace model. The demand for educational VR is growing so rapidly that students and teachers will soon be hungry for as much content as they can possibly access. Other companies with more limited content libraries might not be able to compete. With both the VR and creator economy tailwinds working in its favor, Zoe seems to have honed in on a unique and compelling business opportunity. 

Executive Summary

Zoe Immersive is an educational virtual reality (VR) company developing a platform that allows creators to build and sell VR experiences for students and teachers. This is an innovative and intriguing model, given explosive growth in both the creator economy and the demand for educational VR tools. Plus, Zoe’s team seems well-suited to build a company in this industry given its long shared history of educational VR software development. 

On the other hand, Zoe made less revenue 2020 than it did in 2019, and those financial concerns aren’t properly addressed in the company’s raise materials. While Zoe’s product seems compelling in concept, the current version seems a bit basic. The company lacks an in-house engineering team, which might limit its ability to quickly iterate and launch improvements and new features. Therefore, Zoe Immersive has been rated a Neutral Deal. 

For questions regarding the KingsCrowd staff pick or ratings for this company, please reach out to support@kingscrowd.com

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Zoe Immersive on StartEngine 2021
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Platform: StartEngine
Security Type: Equity - Common
Valuation: $12,641,933

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