Puteko poised to push its AR coloring books in Japan

Puteko CEO Katy Kelly
Puteko CEO Katy Kelly

This is a part of our coverage of B Dash Camp Osaka 2013.

As we reported earlier today, Japanese startup Kaizen Platform walked away with the top prize at the B Dash Osaka startup pitch event. But one of the services that turned the most heads over the two-day event was Puteko’s colAR Mix app. It uses augmented reality technology to animate ordinary coloring books (see demo below), and has already attained some significant exposure when it was featured in TechCrunch back in July.

colAR app view of a colored plane
colAR app view of a colored plane

Interestingly Puteko has been focused on the Japan market, and they plan to move their office here before the end of the year. They have already partnered with SourceNext in Japan, and will be working with Dentsu, DeNA, and d-right. CEO Katy Kelly explained that right now their business consists of three aspects:

  • A library of coloring pages (sort of like Line’s stickers)
  • Partnering with content/brand owners to make coloring pages
  • In-app purchases, cross promotion and revenue share.

In the future their business may expand to include things like game integration (use your character in a game), an SDK for third party app developers, and they may provide an authoring tool for users to create their own coloring books/pages.

So far the company has raised US$200,000 in seed funding back in New Zealand, their current base, and are now seeking series A funding of $1.5 million.

Kelly emphasized the fact that their app engages not only kids, but entire families. Many children these days might lose themselves in a mobile game, colAR is an activity that is more involved. And certainly, the animated end result will be something that kids will love to show off.

Their app is available for free on both iOS and Google Play. It’s one of those jaw-dropping AR services that feels like it should have been made in Japan. So I’m glad to see they’ll be coming here!