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Sound Particles: sound in 3D

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“To put it simply, we use computer graphics techniques applied to sound. Instead of mixing sounds, we create 3D software, and position sound in a 3D space. For example, it could take days and huge resources to create the sound of a battlefield, with 50-60 sounds at the same time. With our software, in 15 minutes, you can generate more than 10,000 sounds and create a battlefield scene on a totally different level. It allows creatives to work with sound in a new way,” explains Nuno Fonseca, founder and CEO of Sound Particles. The software initially targeted the big screen, but has since expanded to video games, with clients that include the likes of all major Hollywood studios, Game of Thrones, Frozen 2 and Star Wars 9 and Playstation.

Nuno is a former university professor with a PhD in computer engineering and a passion for music and cinema. “I guess I’m just one of those geeks,” he says. “When I did those tests at high school to see what career is best suited to your profile, I got the same score for engineering and music. But at the time, sound engineering wasn’t available...” Instead, he brought the two together on his own and created this revolutionary sound design software application that can create highly complex sounds better and faster than ever. “Having created the software, I travelled to LA and sent a few emails to some production companies. It all happened quite fast and before you knew it, I was presenting to all major studios. I’ll never forget finding myself discussing how to use the software to produce the sounds for The Mummy (with Tom Cruise as the main actor). That’s an amazing experience for someone passionate about cinema…”

Nuno founded the own company in 2016, taking on a new challenge, but it’s not easy to pinpoint the hardest part about it: “What is not hard?” he answers. “You need to worry about everything. It’s not just the product any more: staffing, finances, clients... At least with staffing, having been a university professor, I was able to identify the best engineers out there. I think that worked well.”

In 2018, Sound Particles received an equity investment from Indico Capital, backed by the EIF under the EU’s Investment Plan for Europe. “The goal was to enlarge the team,” he explains. “We were still bootstrapping with a small team of 3. We brought in more developers and grew the business side as well, expanding to around 10-11. It accelerated everything. Indico has also been by our side, offering mentoring and advisory services throughout the journey.”

“It’s been a very interesting journey. To be able to do these things, work with these people, I consider myself very lucky. I’m having lots of fun. The first time I went to Disney, I entered from the furthest gate, so I would have to cross the whole studio! Even if the whole thing goes south tomorrow, I don’t regret anything.”

Company:  Sound Particles (Portugal)

Type of business: ICT, audiovisual

EIF financing: InnovFin Equity, EFSI, Portugal Tech

Financial intermediary: Indico Capital

For further information about EIF intermediaries in Portugal, please refer to: http://www.eif.org/what_we_do/where/pt

 

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