UK virtual reality firm Improbable raises $500m

Updated: 00:00 GMT, Jan 1, 1970 | Published: 10:26 GMT, May 12, 2017 |

A London-based virtual reality firm has raised $500m (£388m) in one of the biggest investments in an early stage European technology business.

Japan’s Softbank is backing Improbable in a funding round that values the business at more than $1bn. The deal is further evidence that the UK’s technology sector can now compete with the best.

There may also be relief that despite the cash injection from Japan, Improbable will stay independent. Improbable was founded just five years ago by Herman Narula and Rob Whitehead, who had studied computer science together at Cambridge University.

Their aim was to build large-scale virtual worlds and simulations – mainly for games developers but also for other clients who could use them in applications such as modelling transport systems.