UK startup Poplar, which provides a platform meant to significantly lower the bar for the production of 3D and AR campaigns, has secured $2.1 million in seed funding to boost growth. The round was led by Fuel Ventures, and joined by Haatch Ventures, Ascension Ventures and Super Ventures.
The fledgling company was founded, and incubated at the Founders Factory studio in London by David Ripert, a former head of YouTube Studios at Google, and a Netflix executive prior to that.
Poplar is banking on a spike in AR usage during and after the coronavirus pandemic, by bringing together its community of 1,600+ creators with companies looking to explore more digital immersive experiences – think virtual try-ons, branded face filters and so on – and building 3D/AR campaigns on demand.
To date, major companies like Speedo, Nestlé, Jack Daniels, Disney, L’Oreal, Universal Music and others have used the startup’s solutions. To wit, Poplar is one of TikTok’s first tech partners for AR Branded effects creation, as well as a Trusted Partner for Google’s 3D display advertising format, dubbed Swirl.
Says Ripert: “With Covid-19 dominating our lives, brands are turning more to digital and social channels to reach consumers in new, immersive ways. Augmented reality is central to that and success will be determined by the quality of the experience. We are growing our platform to bring the very best AR creators together to quickly deliver premium campaigns, without the huge price tag.”