Well done to Herman Narula (29) Rob Whitehead (26) and Peter Lipka (28) who following an enormous $502m investment in London-based Improbable from Japan’s SoftBank corporation. In a single transaction this week truly hit the big time with their young business exceeding $1bn in value.

Improbable links up VR worlds to create a large and complex vista that can ultimately be like the real world.

Similarly persistent, decentralised worlds could be useful in other situations. Improbable has already discussed simulating fleets of self-driving cars, crowd dynamics on match day in Manchester, and other events when large numbers of complex independent actors need to be modelled in a shared world, through a spin-off called Immense.

Given that our National Health Service is now subject to cyber terrorism, the cost of which we are unlikely to ever know, one wonders to what extent this platform could be use to test defences and solutions virtually before being rolled out in the real world.

If possible it will ultimately make SoftBanks investment seem like the deal of the century.

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