By Anna Lardinois, Startup Storyteller
Augmented Reality (AR) in marketing sounds futuristic, but you’ve probably already used it. If you’ve used a virtual model to try on clothing, scanned the QR code on a brochure to get additional information, or taken a virtual tour, you are an AR user.
AR provides interactive ways for brands to engage its customers. The technique is effective, but it requires technical staff that is out of reach for most small companies.
Or, at least that used to be the case.
Beloit-based RealtyBLU has created a way to make AR marketing a realistic possibility for small businesses.
Founded in 2017 by serial entrepreneurs Stefan Agustsson and M.J. Anderson, the subscription-based Software as a Service (SaaS) product allows any company with a web connection to create interactive marketing materials.
“Our company was founded with the idea to make augmented reality as easy to create as it is for people to use a system like Canva. We typically sell our services to both brands and marketing agencies. It allows them, without the use of a developer, to create and deploy augmented reality,” Agustsson explained.
Recently, the company has decided to narrow its market focus to expand its customer base.
RealityBLU users come from every industry imaginable. Early on, the company noticed that a significant number of sports franchises were using the product. The users in this market all had similar needs, so the company saw an opportunity to become a dominant force in the niche market.
“In the last eight months we’ve really focused on sports. The opportunities have multiplied by five or ten times versus what we had been doing before,” Agustsson said. “We’ve really learned the marketplace and the struggles that they have.”
RealityBLU is in growth mode.
“We are focused on building the business every day and trying to grow it as fast as possible,” Augustsson said. To meet these scaling goals, the company will enter into a funding round before the close of the year.
“The whole goal for this next round is to increase both our sales and technical capabilities,” he said.
The company has been named a Qualified New Business Venture (QNBV) by the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC). “It’s really helped us,” Agustsson said. “Especially for Wisconsin-based investors, it’s (QNBV) is almost a requirement.”
The revenue-generating company has successfully raised almost $2.25 million to date, with a majority of the capital coming from venture capital funds. RealityBLU raised $250,000 in angel funding in 2019 and received $100,00 from startup accelerator gener8tor in 2020.
To follow the growth of RealityBLU, connect with the company here.