Monday, 18 April 2016 10:53

News Corp invests in augmented reality platform Plattar

Plattar's Steve Guinness (left) and Rupert Deans Plattar's Steve Guinness (left) and Rupert Deans

Melbourne-based augmented reality company Plattar has raised A$1.1 million through a seed investment round led by News Corp Australia.

The investment by News Corp in the oversubscribed round is the media giant’s first seed investment by its Australian business.

Established in 2015, Plattar is a cloud-based platform that allows brands, publishers and agencies to create, manage and distribute augmented reality content in a simple, cost¬ effective way.

The platform comprises a template driven app builder and content management system for managing AR experiences, and can deploy content to any device. The company operates on a software as a service subscription model, and for larger projects provides bespoke content solutions, integration and support.

Plattar is currently in private beta and is taking expressions of interest.

According to Plattar CEO Rupert Deans augmented reality has “enormous potential to impact the way we work, play, learn, communicate, transact, and consume content. The beauty of Plattar is that it allows anybody with any skillset to create their own AR experiences, bringing our own ideas to life in 3D.

“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.”

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."

Deans cites a new report by DigitCapital that 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 – and predicting that the augmented reality (AR) market will be a US$150b industry by 2020.

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham - retired in 2020. He is a veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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