News Corp lead investor in augmented reality startup

Lindsay Bennett
By Lindsay Bennett | 18 April 2016
Plattar's Rupert Deans and Steve Guinness

News Corp Australia is the lead investor in augmented reality business, Plattar.

Plattar is a cloud-based platform that allows brands, publishers and agencies to create, manage and distribute augmented reality (AR) content.

The startup comprises a template driven app builder and content management system for managing AR experiences, and can deploy content to any device. This is its first investment round.

The round closed for A$1.1m, led by News Corp and supported by private investors.

AR was tipped to be the next marketing channel at this year's South by South West conference, holding the power to deliver new insights from traditional advertising mediums.

A DigiCapital report predicted the AR market will be a US$150 billion industry by 2020, with US$1.1bn already invested into AR and VR companies in 2016.

With News Corp's profits down 20% in the second quarter and its newspaper business reporting a 4% decline in revenue and a 22% drop in profit to $169 million, the investment could spark interest from jaded advertisers.

News Corp Australia's chief technology officer Alisa Bowen says: “Augmented reality is a major component of the 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.”

Plattar CEO Rupert Deans says: “AR 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”.

Earlier this year News Corp told AdNews it was focusing on future innovation. It will be the first Australian publisher to secure AR technologies.

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