Kiwi company Nextspace has been performing some impressive feats with its unique 3D visualisation technology. So impressive, in fact, it’s secured a healthy dose of investment capital to further develop and export its interactive Visual City technology to the world.
The Kiwi-developed 3D visualisation software solution provides applications to engage communities and stakeholders in meaningful debate around a city’s challenges and opportunities in areas that include transport, utilities and sustainable urban planning.
The funding has been led by Ice Angels from business growth centre The Icehouse. Its director of startups, Ken Erskine, is keeping tight-lipped about the exact amount invested, though he says its one of the bigger funding rounds made by the group this year.
Erskins said investors have been attracted by the technology’s export potential, describing it as another example of “New Zealand stepping ahead of the pack in the 3D technology industry”.
“We also see the potential for other businesses to built content-rich applications on top of the Visual City platform, thereby creating further export and employment opportunities.”
The technology is currently being used across a wide range of applications. Auckland Council is using the technology to develop an accurate, 3D city reference model to help communicate proposals outlined in the Auckland Spatial Plan (its technology was showcased as part of an Auckland Spatial Plan panel discussion last year). Elsewhere geologists in New Zealand are using the technology to better understand earthquakes and volcanoes. It’s even been adopted by the Australians with Melbourne’s South East Water Limited using it to help Melbourne save money and time when building low-pressure sewer systems.
Nextspace chief executive Gavin Lennox, who is also a member of the Ice Angels and part of the investment round personally, said the number of people living in cities is expected to rise from half of the world’s population to 60 percent by 2030, so the market is ripe for solutions that help cities interpret and manage this growth.
“When remote sensors, geospatial information and other raw data sources are used to generate a complex model of a community, then the best information and ideas can be openly shared and made available to everyone,” said Lennox. “From all of this, cities and communities can make better evidence-based decisions.”