Apple’s introduction of ARKit changed the game for entrepreneurs, not unlike the App Store did on a much, much larger scale back in 2008.
One entrepreneur, Dana Loberg, has capitalized on the launch of ARKit with her startup Leo AR.
Leo is the result of a few pivots. The company first started out as MojiLala, which launched out of betaworks. It was a hassle-free sticker marketplace that allowed artists to upload their stickers and sell them through the platform for end-users to use in a number of locations.
In 2017, MojiLala released a new app called Surreal, which allowed artists to sell virtual objects to end users and lay them over their camera to record fun content. Now as Leo AR, the company is focused on 3D augmented reality objects without losing focus on giving artists an easy-to-use outlet for their virtual wares.
Today, Leo is announcing the raise of a $3 million seed round led by Great Oaks Ventures, with participation from Dennis Phelps of IVP, betaworks, Deutsch Telekom, Quake Capital, and other angel investors.
The app operates on a freemium basis, letting end users subscribe to certain artists they like on the platform. Leo takes a 30 percent cut on those purchases, but Loberg said that her main priority beyond generating revenue is ensuring that artists get paid well and are incentivized to create and sell through her platform.
Loberg also shared that the app has exploded in popularity among children, who enjoy creating videos with dinosaurs or dragons in them.
In fact, Leo users have created more than 8 million videos on the platform, and active users add more than 85 3D objects to their scenes and average 10+ minutes in the app when they use it.
Leo not only lets users distribute their content out to other platforms like Instagram, but it also has a feed of the best videos created in Leo for others to check out.