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IQ Capital invests in technology developing speech synthesis in computer games


For release: 7 October 2008

IQ Capital Fund

Investment in Phonetic Arts Ltd
(“the Company”)

IQ Capital, the UK centric early stage venture fund, announces that it has lead a Series A funding round into Phonetic Arts Limited, alongside several prominent business angels including games industry veteran David Braben and speech technology expert Professor Steve Young.

Phonetic Arts, founded in late 2006 in Cambridge, is focused on the development of a technology which will enable computer games to generate dynamic natural speech. At the moment all speech used in computer games is pre-recorded, and therefore intrinsically limited. Phonetic Arts however, has developed new technology which allows the game to generate speech which is natural and responds to the action happening in the game. The development of a natural speech synthesis engine will enable games to become far more realistic and enjoyable for users.

The technology, which is currently in alpha release, addresses a sizeable gap in a lucrative market and has already attracted significant pre-launch licensing sales. The Company plans to fully launch the technology later this year, and target major games developers with a middleware package operating on all major platforms including Playstation 3, XBOX 360, Wii and PC.

This first round of financing will be used by the Company to finish product development and achieve a significant market share in the sector.

Commenting on the investment, Max Bautin of IQ Capital who will also be joining the company’s board said, 'With realism being the key competitive driver in gaming over the last two decades, character voice responses is a crucial area where little progress has been achieved. Having brought together a team of world experts in the field who have created a product with groundbreaking performance, Phonetic Arts is in an excellent position to change that, both within gaming and other fields where such systems are key. We are very excited about this investment and look forward to working with the management team.”

Paul Taylor, CEO of Phonetic Arts added; “We are very pleased to be working with IQ Capital, David Braben and Steve Young. They are providing us with the right mix of funding and support to ensure the acceleration of the growth of our business. We will use the investment to continue product development and rapidly increase sales.”


For further information please visit www.iqcapitalfund.co.uk or contact:

I Q Capital Partners Tavistock Communications (for I Q Capital)
Kerry Baldwin Clemmie Carr / James Midmer
Tel: 01223 345 616 Tel: 020 7920 3150
kerry.baldwin@iqcapital.co.uk ccarr@tavistock.co.uk

Phonetic Arts
Paul Taylor, Chief Executive
Tel: 0845 234 1224
paul.taylor@phonetic-arts.com


Notes to Editors

I Q Capital Partners

IQ CAPITAL Partners is a dynamic venture capital company based in Cambridge which manages the IQ CAPITAL Fund I and two seed funds, GEIF Ventures and COIN. The funds have the ability to invest from £0.1 million to £3 million, with a focus on UK-based rapidly developing technology businesses.

IQCP differentiates itself by ensuring each investment made not only has the appropriate degree of financial support required to deliver strong growth, but also a co-investment of an “IQ Angel”, a seasoned entrepreneur or industry executive who can provide the best possible hands-on advice to the emerging business, in the specific sector.

IQ Capital Fund has made seven new investments in the first 18 months of operations and continues to actively looks for new opportunities.

Phonetic Arts

Founded in 2006 by three speech industry veterans, Paul Taylor, Ian Hodson and Anthony Tomlinson, Phonetic Arts is dedicated to bringing the best possible speech technology to the computer games market. Phonetic Arts is headquartered in Cambridge, UK, and has strong links with Cambridge University.


Publisher Contact Information:

IQ Capital Partners
+44 1223 345 616
kerry.baldwin@iqcapital.co.uk

Company profile of IQ Capital Partners
Past press releases of IQ Capital Partners.

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