Portland, Oregon-based The Wild is acquiring New York City-based IrisVR. The financial terms were not disclosed.
Unification of Top Tools
IrisVR emerged in the AEC industry a few years before The Wild’s public debut but both companies have seen strong adoption of their respective VR software offerings. Both companies have pioneered the use of virtual reality workflows in the AEC industry and offer complementary technologies.
IrisVR’s Prospect offers strong design review and coordination features and aligns well with The Wild’s vision to shape the future of immersive collaboration for teams. The Wild now has the opportunity to build upon this strong foundation, bringing dynamic real-time interactivity, prototyping, and enhanced collaboration to the table, across multiple platforms.
“VR is entering a new chapter with lighter, more accessible hardware and customers that are beginning to deploy enterprise VR at scale,” says Shane Scranton, CEO and co-founder of IrisVR. “By joining forces with The Wild, our products will continue to help teams catch errors earlier and make decisions faster, while also building towards a future of deeper integrations and broader support within The Wild’s ecosystem.”
With this acquisition, The Wild will serve customers in architecture (Perkins + Will, KPF, Leo A Daly), engineering (Thornton Tomasetti, Black & Veatch), construction (Mortenson, Gilbane), real estate, and enterprise. “IrisVR and The Wild have many shared customers,” says Scranton, “and this is because our solutions are complementary. IrisVR has focused on BIM coordination with support for tools like Navisworks and features like issue tracking, while The Wild offers a suite of element interaction, workspace, and creation tools that promote ideation and decision making in a shared environment.”
Scranton says combining all these capabilities will the combined companies create the most powerful collaboration experience for design reviews, presentations, prototyping, and remote collaboration in the AEC industry.
The Post-Pandemic Workplace
With the current pandemic the future of work is changing, including in design and AEC industries and both companies are at the edge of this. “With remote work becoming common for AEC professionals, we have a unique opportunity to redefine and improve the workplace through immersive collaboration,” says Gabe Paez, CEO and founder of The Wild. “We intend to dramatically expand what is possible in The Wild and joining forces with IrisVR is a huge leap forward to empower more teams to experience their work together in virtual reality.”
Architosh Analysis and Commentary
We noted in 2015 that VR headsets were all the rage at the AIA National convention, the first year we saw IrisVR’s technologies up close. Architosh awarded the company a BEST of SHOW in the Innovation Category for our 2015 AIA BEST of SHOW honors. From that point onward IrisVR consistently had in our view the most mature and worked out VR workflow solutions for architects until largely The Wild emerged at Autodesk University a few years ago with an equally compelling but different set of VR features. This is a compelling natural fit for both of these young and growing VR software companies and the big winners in this acquisition besides the two companies are their current and future customers.
I asked Shane Scranton to clarify exactly how both companies solutions will evolve now. “For the time being, everything will stay the same for our end users (and we encourage them to try out our new Issue Tracking features),” says Scranton. “Longer-term, IrisVR and The Wild believe the whole can be greater than the sum of its parts, and with our combined resources we can sit at the cutting edge of XR as next-gen technologies come to market.”
Being one larger and stronger company, The Wild will be better positioned to both address where their current customers want them to go, as well as respond to a broader set of market integrations, as BIM platforms become a “home base” of sorts for a wider set of app integrations that read, write and interpret BIM geometry and non-geometry data.