New York based startup GeoCV has received $1.8 million in seed investment for their 3D capture technology. Founded in 2014, the company is currently applying the technology within the real estate market. Scanning interior spaces with their proprietary software allows users to view properties in virtual reality.

The near 2 million dollar funding was led by Californian venture firm Runa Capital and Russian based Emery Capital among other private New York investors.

GeoCV scan of an apartment interior. 

Real estate scanning

Anton Yakubenko, GeoCV co-founder and CEO says the ambition for the company, “is to become the world’s No. 1 solutions provider for 3D capturing.” At the moment, GeoCV is offering their services to provide virtual tours of real estate property and allow users to virtually step into a property viewing. However, Yakubenko explains that the potential for the technology has even further scope,

Real estate is a beachhead market, where agents can include a 3D virtual tour in their listing. Other brick and mortar industries such as construction, interior design, insurance and property management will follow. User-generated content creation tools are the longer-term future when everyone has a 3D camera in their pocket and can easily view in AR and VR.

More recent showcase of the technology allows users to truly step into the virtual space. Screenshot via GeoCV's website.

More recent showcase of the technology allows users to truly step into the virtual space. Screenshot via GeoCV’s website.

Mobile scanning

Currently in the beta stage, the GeoCV technology uses a 3D camera equipped smartphone and their proprietary software. Presently, New York realtors can purchase a $149 full package that includes 3D scanning of a property, 3D tour and floor plan.

GeoCV uses smartphones that are enabled with Google’s 3D Tango technology such as the Lenovo Phab 2 Pro and the Asus ZenFone AR, with more smartphones expected to feature Tango in the future. Using a smartphone means GeoCV’s technology is more accessible and potentially easier to use than a 3D scanner. Other companies, such as Colorado based startup Occipital, have similarly explored this by developing an application for iPads that can effectively turn a device into a 3D scanner and also be used for interior scanning.

The software allows users to view a floorplan of a property. Image via GeoCV.

The software allows users to view a floorplan of a property. Image via GeoCV.

Giving VR purpose

Dmitry Galperin, a Runa Capital principal, explains much of the excitement behind GeoCV is because it gives virtual reality a true purpose. Galperin believes,

The biggest problem the VR industry now faces is a lack of realistic content, and most of the 3D/VR content we see today is either synthetic or bound to a specific viewpoint,

Galperin is also encouraged by the potential of the technology as it is, “changing how people buy or rent real estate, but one can imagine that the technology will be used by e-tailers, game developers and more.” Game developers are becoming more engaged with 3D data with the rise of virtual reality gaming and Microsoft recently acquired 3D data optimization providers Simplygon which is used by over 80% of top video game studios. It will be interesting to see how the GeoCV technology expands following this investment.

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Featured image shows a screenshot of one of GeoCV’s interior scans. Image via GeoCV. 

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