THE producer of the Grand Theft Auto video games has made a significant investment in audio technology firm Krotos.
The investment is described as being in the “substantial six-figure” range.
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Edinburgh-based Krotos is a producer of next-generation audio tools for the entertainment industry, best known for its Dehumaniser voice processor, which makes it possible to produce imaginary creature and monster sounds in real-time, dramatically speeding up a process that previously took up to eight hours to complete.
The processor has been used in films, television and video games, and Krotos has won business from studios around the world including Disney and Warner Brothers.
The investment will help the firm to grow to the next stage, including doubling headcount to 20, and widening its suite of Pro Audio tools. The company said it would also move into growing areas such as virtual reality and gaming communications.
Orfeas Boteas, founder and chief executive, said: “The next few years will open up exciting possibilities for new media, as audio is now more challenging than ever with virtual reality (VR), augmented reality and mixed reality. Video games and films are our core market, but there is massive potential in VR and that will be an important focus for us moving forward.”
Mr Benzies said: “Orfeas understands the potential of bringing technology and creativity together, and his vision for the future of audio tools resonated with me. I look forward to working with such a talented and driven team.”
Mr Boteas conceived Dehumaniser while studying for a masters degree in sound design, at the University of Edinburgh. The software also allows actors to generate sounds themselves using their own voices.
Since its launch in 2013, Dehumaniser has been used to voice characters in Hollywood blockbusters including Avengers: Age of Ultron and the Jungle Book as well as video games Far Cry 4, Doom, and League of Legends. It has also been used by television production companies in the US, Europe and Asia.
Mr Boteas added: “The support we have received from the technology and business community in Scotland over the past four years has been fantastic. It’s a great place to start a tech business and I’m delighted that we will be able to build a bigger presence in Edinburgh following the investment.”
Andrea Young, fund manager of Old College Capital, says: “Krotos is an exciting new company with potential to grow rapidly and deliver real economic impact in Edinburgh. This deal highlights the potential of student-led enterprise and it is great that the University through Old College Capital is able to take a stake in the company and share in its future success.
Mr Benzies will join the Krotos board, which includes non-executive directors Matthew Smith, the former audio director of Rockstar North; IT entrepreneur Ian Ritchie; and financial expert Colin Grant.
Mr Benzies and Mr Smith, along with fellow Grand Theft Auto alumni Colin Entwhistle, recently founded a new studio, Square Peg Games. The studio is working on its first game, the open world Everywhere. The company has opened offices in Edinburgh, Los Angeles and Budapset.