Montreal-based digital rendering, cloud-based 3D design platform Lagoa has raised $1.6 million in funding from Atlas Ventures, Real Ventures, Rho Canada Ventures and 500 Startups.
The design platform is groundbreaking in every sense of the word. In fact, CEO Thiago Costa said 3D graphics have evolved relatively slow compared to other industries. Costa previously worked in Montreal’s gaming community for the likes of Ubisoft on the Assassin’s creed brand, and realized the offline, mostly hardware based methodology was hindering evolution of the space.
“There’s a rising need to visualize things and it’s an angle that no one talks about yet,” Costa told Techvibes. “The future of the manufacturing industry all together is the ability to design, visualize and build something while not needing the entire infrastructure for building. We hope to be there to help people do that.”
Lagoa gives users the power to produce photoreal MultiOptic 3D renders in seconds with speeds that lets them iterate faster and “revise expectations of what is possible”. It uses real-world measured materials, scanned in a laboratory so that the designs appear like physical materials. Because it uses the cloud, companies can build their virtual studio via long-distance simultaneous collaboration.
According to the team, no one in the space comes close to the kind of capabilities Lagoa offers professionals.
With the advent of 3D printing and visualizing, Costa said the funding comes at a perfect time for the company that has two of its cofounders in Montreal, one in Bonn, Germany and its CMO in Boston. The money will be spent on talent and investing in future technologies for the company.
User acquisition will also be a target going forward for Lagoa, as they’ll be focusing on a newer trend in the industry based on subscription.
Costa moved to Montreal in 2009 to eventually start the company after working in the television, advertising, motion graphics and gaming industries. Originally from southern Brazil, the CEO spent time in a neighourhood in Rio de Janeiro called Lagoa (the word is loosely translated to “little lake”, “pond” or “stream of water” in Portuguese or Spanish). There’s another meaning behind the name according to Costa though. “I wanted to give it some name to connect it to nature and I wanted to inspire the physical elements you can create with it.”
All three cofounders carry unique experience in their fields of expertise. Aside from Costa’s experience building most of the platform, Arno Zinke serves as the chief scientist and cofounder. He has a PHD in physically based rendering and heads up Lagoa’s research and development of its patent-pending MultiOptics rendering technology. The third cofounder is CTO Dov Amihod, the former engineering lead at Matrox and Bluestreak. Amihod heads the engineering team and is responsible for building a reliable infrastructure for managing complex assets data, patent-pending MultiOptics rendering and real-time collaboration.
Users can access the service through four pricing levels: a free service that provides five rendering hours, 1 gigabyte of cloud storage and unlimited viewing of public projects. The “powerhouse” level provides 250GB of storage, 375 hours of rendering, and 25 private projects, costing $123.