Rupert Deans, Founder of Christchurch mixed reality agency, One Fat Sheep, has raised over NZ$1.2 million in seed funding for his new startup Plattar.
Plattar plans to offer a augmented reality (AR) platform that will enable brands, publishers and agencies to create, manage and distribute augmented reality content in a simple, cost-effective way. It is a cloud-based platform that consists of two parts: an app builder that comes with customisable templates, and a content management system for AR content.
Augmented reality gives people added sight and helps people learn more about the environment by displaying a layer of digital information – videos, 3D models, live streams, images, audio – over whatever it is we are looking at.
Investors are recognising the major role that AR will play in the next wave of consumer engagement. Annual investment in augmented and virtual reality companies is at an all-time high with a record breaking US$1.1 billion already invested into AR and VR companies in 2016, according to a new report issued by Digi-Capital. The same report predicted that “The augmented reality (AR) market will be a $120B industry by 2020”.
Plattar closed an oversubscribed seed investment round led by News Corp Australia and supported by existing prominent private investors.
Speaking about the investment, News Corp Australia's chief technology officer Alisa Bowen said, “We are delighted to announce our investment in Plattar. Augmented reality is a major component of the next wave of consumer engagement, and we are excited to be bringing this capability to News.
"Working with Rupert, Steve, and the Plattar team on a partnership with REA Group and Ray White in February confirmed the huge potential in the platform, and we will be looking to integrate AR and Plattar across many more of our publications.
"This investment is also News Corp Australia’s first ever seed investment, which shows our belief in both the technology and in Plattar."
Plattar CEO Rupert Deans says, “With my first venture, One Fat Sheep, we saw firsthand the enormous potential that AR has to impact how people learn, play, work, communicate, transact, socialise, and consume content. I established Plattar last year to allow anybody with any skillset to create their own AR experiences, bringing our own ideas to life in 3D. The Plattar business model was spun out of One Fat Sheep, which then incubated the startup.”
The company, which is currently in private beta and taking expressions of interest, plans to charge customers a monthly fee to use this product, and provide bespoke services for larger projects.