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Kiwi devs look to export 3D urban-planning tech

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New Zealand-based 3D visualisation company Nextspace has secured a round of VC funding to assist in the export of its interactive Visual City technology.

The funding amount was not disclosed but the round was led by Auckland-based ICE Angels and represents one of the biggest investments it has made this year. The range of the ICE Angels investment pool is from NZ$100,000 ($81,287) to NZ$1.25m ($1.01m) per deal.

Visual City is a 3D visualisation software solution that provides applications for communities to chart a city’s challenges and opportunities, including transport, utilities, and "sustainable" urban planning. It's basically Civilization, but for real-life urban planners.

In Australia, Melbourne’s South East Water Limited is using Nextspace’s visualisation technology to help cut costs and time when building out low-pressure sewer systems. In New Zealand, geologists are using it to advance their understanding of earthquakes and volcanoes, and Auckland Council is developing an accurate, 3D city reference model to help communicate proposals outlined in the Auckland Spatial Plan.

Nextspace CEO Gavin Lennox, who also participated in the funding round, says that as the number of people living in cities is expected to rise from half of the world’s population to 60 per cent by 2030, the need for solutions that help cities interpret and manage this growth is growing.

“When remote sensors, geospatial information and other raw data sources are used to generate a complex model of a community, then the best information and ideas can be openly shared and made available to everyone,” said Lennox.

Nextspace’s Visual City solution includes technology developed by New Zealand-born Right Hemisphere, which was acquired by enterprise software giant SAP in September. Nextspace was originally established with government support in 2007 but is now a self-sustaining commercial company with 12 employees. ®

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