Cloud-graphics company Otoy has raised a fourth round of funding from Russian tech investor Yuri Milner, the man who invested in Facebook and Zynga, as well as former Morgan Stanley chief executive John Mack.
The Los Angeles-based company started out in cloud gaming, but it shifted its focus to using the web-connected data centers, or a cloud, to host the tools for making digital entertainment from movies to games. Otoy’s technology has become a key ingredient in creating 3D content from movies and games, and it is now a mainstay in Hollywood visual effects pipelines. It enables creators to build ultrarealistic computer-generated characters and environments without having a supercomputer at their desk.
Otoy will use the money to accelerate the commercialization of its suite of tools for cloud-based content creation. The company didn’t say how much money it raised.
Otoy, whose CEO is special effects guru Jules Urbach, has been toiling for four years to build the tools, which it says will dramatically improve the quality, speed, and cost of computer-generated content creation. Artists, animators, designers, architects, and engineers can use these to create cool effects. The suite includes LightStage, which makes cool visual effects; Octane, which renders 3D images on workstations and the cloud; and Brigade, a tool for photorealistic game designs.
“This round of funding enables the next phase of our business strategy: commercializing our offerings to give more businesses and users around the world a chance to experience the phenomenal impact Otoy technologies can have on their work,” said Urbach. “In its short history, Otoy has defied convention, producing dramatic advancements to core technologies and processes in the field at an astounding pace, and translating those advancements to the cloud to bring about new economies for content creators and distributors. We’re extraordinarily proud to be working with Yuri Milner and John Mack, and appreciate their advice, encouragement, and support of our vision. What we’ve done so far is just the tip of the iceberg. We have some tremendous innovations in store.”
Other investors include Autodesk, Taylor Frigon, George Gilder, and the Roddenberry Trust. Advisers for the company include William Morris Endeavor’s Ari Emanuel; former IBM CEO Sam Palmisano; Mozilla CTO Brendan Eich; former IBM executive Irving Wladawsky-Berger, and Google’s Eric Schmidt.
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