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Funding for Krotos

Games pioneer Benzies invests in sounds firm

Leslie BenziesVideo games pioneer Leslie Benzies has provided funding for Krotos, the Edinburgh firm behind the creation of monster sounds in film, television and video games.

Mr Benzies (left), the former president of Grand Theft Auto firm Rockstar North and creator of new game, Everywhere, is the main investor in Krotos.

Old College Capital – the venture investment arm of Edinburgh university is a co-funder in the six-figure deal.

Krotos is known for its ‘Dehumaniser’ voice processor and has already won business from big studios, including Disney and Warner Brothers.

Investment from Mr Benzies is a significant boost for the company and will help it to scale – doubling headcount to 20 – and widen its suite audio tools ,while also reaching consumer markets in growth areas such as virtual reality and gaming communication.

Orfeas Boteas, founder and CEO, hit upon the idea for Dehumaniser, the first Krotos product, while studying in Edinburgh.

The innovative software, initially created as part of his Masters degree in sound design, 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.

It 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 hit video games Far Cry 4, Doom and League of Legends, among others. It has also been used by television production companies in the US, Europe and Asia.

Speaking of the company’s plans, Mr Boteas said: “Our tools will finally free audio designers, creatives and musicians from outdated workflows and will allow them to focus on creativity.

“The next few years will open up exciting possibilities for new media, as audio is now more challenging than ever with Virtual Reality, 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.

“The support we have received from the technology and business community in Scotland over the last 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.”

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.”

Andrea Young, fund manager at Old College Capital, said: “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.

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