HomeFundingArnhem-based Enliven raises €1 million to build a more compassionate society through...

Arnhem-based Enliven raises €1 million to build a more compassionate society through XR empathy-training

Enliven, a Dutch startup founded with a vision of creating a more understanding society, has raised €1 million to expand its reach. The company is using cutting-edge tech to make an impact on society through promoting empathy training in domestic and workplace settings. 

Every day, we are bombarded with news that the world is in crisis. Climate crisis, financial crisis, energy crisis, political mental health crisis – the list goes on. Amidst this backdrop, society as a whole needs one virtue more than ever before: compassion. 

Aiming to bring empathy into the workplace and domestic settings through pioneering training tech, Enliven is developing a trailblazing XR-based solution. The startup, which was founded by Iranian refugee Alex Tavassoli in 2015,  has now raised €1 million to expand its impact-driven mission. 

Funding details

This new €1 million investment was led by LUMO Labs alongside Oost NL. 

It’ll be used to speed up content production and platform development, as well as enhance brand visibility and marketing efforts. 

Prevention through awareness

Enliven is based on a simple premise – prevention through awareness. By using virtual reality, the Arnhem-based startup is able to safely stimulate awareness of empathy and compassion, making empathy training safe and accessible for employers and social institutions alike. 

The tech allows users to experience immersive simulations from a target’s point of view. This approach has been proven to increase awareness of the emotional and mental impact of destructive behaviour and to dramatically increase the likelihood that a trainee recognizes and then changes their own behaviour. It also encourages people to call out destructive behaviour. 

“My biggest motivation is that every time someone experiences our content, they are exponentially more likely to act against domestic violence, bullying or discrimination.”

The solution addresses some of the major threats to employee wellbeing today, including bullying, discrimination, inequality and sexual harassment. In addition, it can be used to address other real-life challenges, such as divorce, domestic violence and mental disability through the eyes of virtual personas. 

LUMO Labs Founding Partner, Andry Lürling: “This kind of innovation and impact fits our investment focus perfectly and comes at a crucial time for employers and caretakers around the world. Employee well-being increasingly is a top priority for companies across the globe. The Enliven enterprise experiences contribute to vital teams and positive working environments in an incredibly scalable and user-friendly way. It supports medium and large employers throughout the onboarding of new employees, as well as in strengthening existing employees and teams.” 

Founder Tavassoli arrived in the Netherlands as a young child and drew on his personal experience as a refugee, and that as a professional in game development, to develop Enliven. It has been based on his concept of ‘Don’t Forget Me’ – a simulation around the subject of domestic violence that was awarded the JenV Innovation Award by the Dutch Ministry of Justice and Security. 

Tavassoli said: “We are delighted to take the next step together with LUMO and Oost NL. This investment will allow us to expand on the societal topics we address and the global reach of our content. We will now be able to reach and empower more people and organizations, ultimately touching more lives and achieving more positive change.”

Enliven offers a unique proposition to the market, and it provides something that society really needs today – bringing more compassion and empathy to real-life scenarios. It’s one of the first companies to deploy VR to enhance a social goal and create more understanding for our fellow human beings. Enliven opens a window into someone else’s world, allowing people to not just see but also experience other people’s realities. 

Jordy Schaufeli, Investment Manager at Oost NL, said: “A safe and healthy working environment, where people treat each other with respect, determines the quality of the service and ensures sustainable employment. We are very happy that we can contribute to support Enliven in its journey to further develop its product and vision. The product is innovative, has a significant social impact, is human-centered and contributes to social challenges we are facing today.”

Sven Bakkes, Founding Partner at LUMO Labs, calls Tavassoli “an incredibly persistent and committed founder. He has been able to make it very clear why he needed the additional capital and access to our network and program for speed and growth. We look forward to supporting him and his expanding team to make it all happen!”

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Patricia Allen
Patricia Allen
is the Head of Content at EU-Startups. With a background in politics, Patricia has a real passion for how shared ideas across communities and cultures can bring new initiatives and innovations for the future. She spends her time bringing you the latest news and updates of startups across Europe, and curating our social media.

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