As it makes inroads into its key markets of defense and emergency response, 3D Planeta is prepping to approach investors late in the summer in the hopes of raising more than $750,000.
Fredericton-based 3D Planeta has developed an online platform that brings 3D maps to conventional computers and devices, bringing users a greater understanding of terrain and what view-planes would be available if they were on the ground.
The company now comprises a seven-member team led by tech veteran Norm Couturier, who has been president since last autumn. The team also includes Executive Chairman Chris Mathis, the former CEO of Springboard Atlantic, the organization that bridges academia and industry in Atlantic Canada.
“We bring you accuracy right down to each individual tree,” said Couturier in an interview at the recent Atlantic Venture Forum, where 3D Planeta was an exhibitor. “We can tell you what the line of sight is around you based on the foliage and structures in the area.”
The company, which holds several patents and has mapped the entire globe, is the result of more than eight years of research at the geomatics imaging lab at University of New Brunswick, led by Prof. Yun Zhang. This lab produced technology that allows the functionality of Google Streetview, Google Earth and other such software.
The 3D Planeta software allows the user to choose a point on a map and instantly understand the terrain, the structures and obstacles, and the view planes in all directions. It can be used on a range of hardware, from virtual reality viewers to desk top monitors to 3D phones. It has military applications and can assist first responders in understanding the landscape they’re about to work in.
The company’s promotional material says its 3D images “provide unprecedented fidelity and depth of terrain, structures, and object of interest. Combined with our visualization tools, operations commanders can elevate their tactical assessment of terrain, providing the capability of faster and more accurate critical decision-making.”
Couturier said the company, which recently had a demonstration booth at the Canadian Defense and Security Association conference in Ottawa, has signed customers in the aerospace and defence segment and has $1.5 million of potential sales in its pipeline. As well as aerospace and defence and emergency response, 3D Planeta believes there are potential markets in such segments as tourism, real estate and geometrics and mapping.
“We’ve just signed another customer with the Health Authority of Canada to visualize the global spread of contagious diseases,” said Couturier.
He added that he’s working on a seed round of at least $750,000, which would be used to accelerate the platform’s development and expand the business development team.
Courturier has launched and headed tech startups since the 1980s, he was a Co-Founder of the Fredericton IT company Accreon, which was purchased in a management buyout in 2014. He was also a Co-Founder of iTacit, growing it to a market of 100,000 users before departing in 2017.