News Corp just made its first seed round startup investment

Wold of Wall Stret. Picture: Paramount Pictures

News Corp Australia has made its second startup investment in 6 months, leading a $1.1 million seed funding round for augmented reality startup Plattar.

The Melbourne-based startup utilises the cloud to allow users to create, manage and distribute AR content, which News Corp wants to take advantage of with its 50% stake of the REA Group.

News Corp’s chief technology officer Alisa Bowen said there was huge potential to leverage augmented reality in its real estate offerings.

“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,” she said.

CEO of Plattar Rupert Deans said, “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.”

Augmented and virtual reality is expected to be the next big thing in the real estate world, with REA finding that browsers spent on average, an extra 52% on listings with 3D tours. News Corp will be looking to integrate AR in those tours, which could potentially allow prospective buyers to place furniture or objects in the display to help create their dream home.

News Corp’s other big investment came at the end of last year when it spent $40 million on its 25% stake in tradie marketplace hipages.