VR Company PlayWerk Announces Management Appointments and Capital Raise

“…VR and gamification can be incredibly successful tools to enable rapid skill-building for employees and roll out a proactive safety culture to all locations concurrently. We feel that PlayWerk has struck the right balance in innovation, know-how, and commercial viability.” – Amir Banifatemi, K5

IRVINE, Calif.

Industrial virtual reality (VR) company PlayWerk today announced the addition of seasoned VR and technology executives to its management team. PlayWerk’s management team includes CEO and co-founder Stijn Vanorbeek, COO Ryan Breed, co-founder Bram Clincke, and co-founder Jelmen Lombaerts. Mr. Vanorbeek, Mr. Breed and Mr. Clincke will be based in the company’s Irvine headquarters; Mr. Lombaerts will lead the company’s European division in Belgium.

PlayWerk also announced that it had recently raised $2.2 million in seed funding. K5 Ventures led the round. The company plans to use the funds for expansion of its product lines.

“PlayWerk and its management team are changing the way large businesses deal with the dichotomy of a high-tech workplace and what used to be a low-tech skill set,” said Amir Banifatemi, deal lead for PlayWerk and co-founder of K5 Ventures. “As companies are evermore concerned about standardizing safety processes over multiple locations and a variety of skill levels, VR and gamification can be incredibly successful tools to enable rapid skill-building for employees and roll out a proactive safety culture to all locations concurrently. We feel that PlayWerk has struck the right balance in innovation, know-how, and commercial viability.”

In a related announcement, PlayWerk today also announced the expansion of its product line and highlights of the company’s first released product, Forklift-Simulator (http://www.prweb.com/releases/2017/11/prweb14944867.htm).

About PlayWerk’s Management Team:
Prior to joining PlayWerk, Mr. Vanorbeek was president of Ross Robotics, a global company that designs and manufactures products for live television production. Stijn was the founder and CEO of FX-Motion, an industry leader in the development of robotic and remote-controlled camera systems and transitioned to president when Ross Robotics acquired FX-Motion in 2011

Mr. Clincke’s background includes successful business development, brand and general management roles around the globe. He helped set up and lead various Groupon divisions in Europe and Asia, was a consultant at McKinsey & Company Singapore focusing on innovation of consumer electronics products, and held marketing roles at Coca-Cola and Unilever.

Mr. Lombaerts was previously a professional firefighter. Out of his obsession with safety, he invented the world’s first VR forklift simulator that promptly won the Material Handling Industry innovation award at the Promat 2015 show in Chicago. He consequently co-founded PlayWerk to further develop the product.

Prior to his recent appointment as COO at PlayWerk in October 2017, Mr. Breed was a senior vice president in charge of both technical and business roles at Gaikai, a Sony Interactive Entertainment International company, where he was responsible for the innovative PlayStation Now game-streaming service now live on PlayStation devices. His background in business intelligence and cloud engineering will allow PlayWerk’s future products to leverage the latest cloud technology and perfect product-market fit through data analytics.

About PlayWerk:
PlayWerk provides industrial VR solutions using gamified environments that redefine how large companies screen, train, and inspire their workforce. The company’s first product, Forklift-Simulator, is now used by leading brands such as Toyota, BMW, and L’Oreal as well as many government agencies, schools, logistics, retail and automotive companies to enhance safety programs and motivate employees. For more information about PlayWerk, please visit http://www.play-werk.com and http://www.forklift-simulator.com/, or follow the company on Twitter (https://twitter.com/forkliftsim?lang=en), YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCnVbboOnlqfiLwFWJ7fHkdg/videos), and FaceBook (https://www.facebook.com/theforkliftsimulator/). Photo thumbnails of PlayWerk’s VR industrial simulators and company logos are available at http://www.forklift-simulator.com/media/. Please contact [email protected] for hi-res photos or specific requirements.

Media Contact:
Kimber Smith Fidler
K5 Ventures
[email protected]
+1 (775) 298 5260

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About the Author: Carrie Brunner

Carrie Brunner grew up in a small town in northern New Brunswick. She studied chemistry in college, graduated, and married her husband one month later. They were then blessed with two baby boys within the first four years of marriage. Having babies gave their family a desire to return to the old paths – to nourish their family with traditional, homegrown foods; rid their home of toxic chemicals and petroleum products; and give their boys a chance to know a simple, sustainable way of life. They are currently building a homestead from scratch on two little acres in central Texas. There’s a lot to be done to become somewhat self-sufficient, but they are debt-free and get to spend their days living this simple, good life together with their five young children. Carrie writes mostly on provincial stories.
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