Funding raised to launch augmented reality platform
Rupert Deans, founder of Christchurch mixed reality agency, One Fat Sheep, has raised over NZ$1.2m in seed funding for his new startup Plattar (www.plattar.com). 
Plattar will offer a world first 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.  
In layman terms, augmented reality gives people added sight – like how Tom Cruise can manipulate data in Minority Report, or how the robot played by Arnold Schwarzenegger visualises his environment in Terminator. AR lets us learn more about our environment by displaying a layer of digital information – videos, 3D models, live streams, images, audio – over whatever it is we are looking at. With most of us using smart mobile technology, what was science fiction yesterday is fast becoming our reality today. People are finding uses for AR across all industries, and for multiple applications - from marketing and brand awareness purposes, through to commercial and industrial applications.
Investors also recognise 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”. 
Last week Plattar closed an oversubscribed seed investment round for over NZ$1.2m, led by News Corp Australia and supported by existing prominent private investors. The company is currently in private beta and taking expressions of interest.
“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,” says Plattar CEO Rupert Deans.
“My brother Sebastian Deans is running One Fat Sheep in Christchurch, while I focus on Plattar in Melbourne. We employ developers and contractors across New Zealand, Australia and hire specialists in other countries. Over the years we have an established blue chip early client base in Australia, New Zealand and the US that includes Fortune 500 and ASX100 companies.”
“We were blown away by the level of interest for our seed investment and are 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 our ambitious plan to cement Plattar as the world’s leading AR creator.”