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Greek investors make sound bet on Scottish-based software tech

·3-min read
Award-winning sound professionals Brad North and Craig Henighan used Dehumaniser for their Pollywog and Demodog creations in Stranger Things
Award-winning sound professionals Brad North and Craig Henighan used Dehumaniser for their Pollywog and Demodog creations in Stranger Things

Audio specialist Krotos, whose software has been used in a string of high-profile film and gaming titles, has secured a fresh seven-figure capital injection to further work on a significant new project.

The funding from Greek venture capital firm Metavallon has allowed Edinburgh-based Krotos to undertake a recruitment drive that will increase its headcount from 15 to 25. The company is seeking to fill technical, sales support, operations and finance positions.

Best-known for its Dehumaniser voice processor, Krotos’s software tools allow audio professionals to perform and customise sound faster than traditional editing techniques. Its current line-up includes products that automate complex sound effects such as transitions, sci-fi effects, vehicle noises, and effects relating to animals and food.

Launched in 2013, Dehumaniser allows “unearthly” effects to be created from human voices in real-time, a previously laborious process of layering and synchronising multiple sounds that would take many hours.

HeraldScotland: Orfeas Boteas
HeraldScotland: Orfeas Boteas

Orfeas Boteas

Krotos now has five product lines used by thousands of audio professionals and music producers in 65 countries on major film, television and high-budget game titles such as Stranger Things, Game of Thrones, The Lion King, Avengers, Captain Marvel and Star Trek.

Chief executive Orfeas Boteas – who came up with the idea for Dehumaniser while studying for his master’s degree in sound design at the University of Edinburgh – said the company is now working on a new “big project” that will be supported by the funding from Metavallon. It has been in development for about six months, but further details are confidential.

George Karantonis, partner at Metavallon, said the firm is “super happy” to be supporting Krotos in a global video and audio editing market that is expected to be worth $6 billion (£4.4bn) by 2024.

“We believe that Krotos has already a proven solution and an impressive clientele world-wide and with the funds of the round will set course to become the leading technology provider to the millions of content creators out there,” he said.

“As a result, we expect exponential growth of sales. We are also happy because Orfeas has clear plans to base a significant part of future activities in Greece.”

Mr Boteas added: “We are super excited to work with George and the Metavallon team to realise our vision and take Krotos to the next level. This will allow us to significantly expand our product offering and allow more creatives to make the entertainment world sound awesome.”

READ MORE: Grand Theft Auto producer backs Krotos

The fresh cash injection comes five years after an initial pre-seed funding round in which Krotos raised a six-figure sum from Leslie Benzies, the former president of Grand Theft Auto producer Rockstar North, and Old College Capital, the venture investment arm of the University of Edinburgh.

As lead investor on that round, Mr Benzies joined the board of directors at Krotos but stepped down from that post in October 2021. The board is chaired by IT entrepreneur Ian Ritchie and also includes financial expert Colin Grant.

Born in Athens, Mr Boteas studied music technology and acoustics at the Technological Educational Institute of Crete while also working as a sound engineer doing post-production for television shows, commercials and documentaries in Greece. He came to Scotland in 2011 to study for his master’s degree, followed by an internship with the University of Edinburgh’s LAUNCH.ed programme backed by banking group Santander.

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