A former Dundee games industry pioneer is leading a six-figure investment in a pioneering audio effects producer.
Leslie Benzies, who cut his teeth as a video game programmer at DMA Design in Dundee and who later rose to become president of Grand Theft Auto producer Rockstar North, has emerged as the main investor in new funding secured for Edinburgh-based Krotos.
Mr Benzies is co-investing in the group alongside Old College Capital (OCC) – the venture investment arm of Edinburgh University.
Krotos is best known for its ‘Dehumaniser’ voice processor which produces monster sounds for films, television and video games.
The tool has helped the company win business from film production studios such as Disney and Warner Brothers.
Dehumaniser effects have so far featured in films such as Avengers: Age of Ultron and the Jungle Book.
The new cash injection from Mr Benzies and OCC will be used to help the business scale up its operations.
It is planning to double its current headcount to 20, widen its suite of Pro Audio tools and push into new market areas such as virtual reality (VR) and gaming communication.
Krotos founder Orfeas Boteas said: “Our tools will finally free audio designers, creatives and musicians from outdated workflows and will allow them to focus on creativity.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 moving forward.”
Mr Benzies said he was delighted to be involved with Orfeas and the wider Krotos team.
He said: “Orfeas understands the potential of bringing technology and creativity together, and his vision for the future of audio tools resonated with me.”
Andrea Young, fund manager of Old College Capital, said Krotos was an exciting new company that had the potential to grow rapidly.
“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.”