Australian augmented reality content management company Plattar has secured A$1.1 million (around $842,633) in a seed funding round from News Corp Australia, a major media company, according to a report.
This is the first time News Corp Australia has ever made a seed investment in any business at all, said the conglomerate’s chief technology officer Alisa Bowen.
Founded in 2015, the company lets brands, publishers and agencies create, manage and deploy augmented reality content like apps and experiences through templates and customisable designs.
Speaking to DEALSTREETASIA, Plattar’s CEO Rupert Deans said, the funds will be used to scale up the business and bring in more developers to match the sort of demand they’re seeing, among other functions.
While Plattar is still testing its platform privately in beta, it has already signed on a number of major corporations and organisations as clients such as REA Real Estate Australia, the University of Otago, Frucor and News Corp.
Deans hopes to open the platform up to the general public in three to six months, and deploy the platform across all touch points, including wearable devices and smartphones.
“We were blown away by the level of interest and were pleased to welcome News Corp Australia as a strategic partner and investor. This round of investment will allow us to accelerate growth through additional investment in product development and marketing activity as part of an ambitious plan to cement Plattar as the world’s leading AR creator,” said Deans in a statement.
Bowen added, “Augmented reality is a major component of the next wave of consumer engagement, and we are excited to be bringing this capability to News.”
Augmented reality is a way for people to interact with real-world objects with smart devices. For example, users can hover their devices above an advertisement in a newspaper to view it in 3D or see one of the mascots featured come to life. Augmented reality is also often grouped together with virtual reality, which focuses more on replicating an immersive experience through sights and sounds.
In January 2016, multinational advisory firm Digi Capital wrote that augmented and virtual reality revenue is forecast to hit $120 billion by 2020. It also noted that while “the weight of innovation for AR (augmented) and VR (virtual) is in America”, “higher than average AR/VR revenue per user is likely to come from North America, Western Europe, Japan and South Korea”. It added that China, Japan, and South Korea will be key drivers of AR/VR revenue by 2020, followed by Europe and North America.