Augmented reality company Zappar wants to make it easy for developers to deliver AR and VR content on mobile. Today, it’s raised a significant amount of funding to help it do so.
The company announced the closure of a Series A round of funding in which it raised $3.75 million. Investors included iDreamSky, a China-based app developer, along with Hargreave Hale and You & Mr Jones, an investor in Pokemon Go developer Niantic. With the funding secured, Zappar will continue to build its AR development platform, ZapWorks, as well as working with brands to develop experiences in-house.
Launched last year ZapWorks is a creative suite designed specifically for developing AR experiences like Pokemon Go on mobile rather than a development engine that serves standard games first and other technologies second. With it, developers can create 3D models that they can then project into the real world through a smartphone screen. This content can be accessed by scanning a QR-like code found on products in the real world.
In the past the company has worked with brands like Coca-Cola and Sony Pictures to create AR advertising campaigns, while its platform can also be used for architectural apps, and educational experiences. VR content for mobile-based headsets like Google Cardboard can also be created with the platform.
The funding will also go to the development of new products and expansion into international territories. With iDreamSky’s help, China should be one of those regions.
While not as advanced as mixed reality technology seen in the likes of HoloLens and Magic Leap, this type of AR content is easily the most accessible kind of reality-altering content available right now, usually only requiring the user’s own smartphone to access. Advances in camera technology, like Google’s Tango 3D sensing system, are also helping to grow mobile AR into more complicated apps. With this funding on board, ZapWorks could be one of the key platforms for actually making this content in the future.