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IQ Capital Invests in Technology Developing Speech Synthesis for Computer Games


May 2008

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 contact:
Clemmie Carr or James Midmer, Tavistock Communications
E: ccarr@tavistock.co.uk or P: 020 7920 3150

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