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Toronto-based VFX startup MARZ raises $5.3M to develop AI technology solutions – FiratNews

Toronto-based VFX startup MARZ raises $5.3M to develop AI technology solutions – TechCrunch


Know-how and visible results startup Monsters Aliens Robots Zombies (MARZ) has raised $5.3 million in Collection A funding. The funding was led by Round13 Captial with participation from Rhino Ventures and Harlo Fairness Companions. MARZ plans to make use of the funding to develop its core VFX enterprise and speed up the event of its ‘AI for VFX’ expertise options.

The Toronto-based studio launched in 2018 and is creating AI options that purpose to deal with among the challenges confronted by the leisure trade relating to VFX capability scarcity spurred by streaming wars, the corresponding explosion of on-demand content material and the significance of VFX in driving subscriber development.

“We are going to use the funds to speed up analysis and improvement of our ‘AI for VFX’ options, of which there are two AI merchandise presently in improvement,” MARZ co-founder and co-president Jonathan Bronfman instructed FiratNews in an e-mail. “In step with this, funding will probably be allotted to the hiring of key personnel in our analysis, engineering and product organizations. The funding may also be used to develop our {hardware} capabilities and infrastructure, which can assist to meaningfully shorten AI analysis and improvement, in addition to enhance capability effectivity for each our AI merchandise.”

Bronfman mentioned that whereas the vast majority of funding will probably be allotted to the event of proprietary AI options, it would additionally assist the corporate speed up its development in its conventional VFX companies enterprise, which he says is synergistic with MARZ’s AI enterprise.

The corporate has labored on 88 initiatives in its first three years since launch, together with Marvel’s “WandaVision,” HBO’s “Watchmen,” Netflix’s “The Umbrella Academy” and Apple TV+’s “Invasion.” MARZ accomplished 13 initiatives in its first 12 months, 21 in its second 12 months and 54 in its third 12 months.

MARZ has grown from 45 staff in 2019 to 194 right this moment, with plans to develop its staff to 300 over the subsequent 12 months. Of the present staff, greater than 1 / 4 are centered on machine studying and synthetic intelligence. Though the corporate relies in Toronto, MARZ is a remote-first firm with a distributed workforce based mostly in cities all over the world, together with Vancouver, Winnipeg, Montreal, Madrid, Los Angeles, Melbourne, London, Moscow, Mumbai, and Mexico Metropolis.

“Our mission is to democratize VFX and in doing so to empower creatives across the globe to supply essentially the most formidable video content material doable — whether or not that be a streaming service or Hollywood studio, gaming studio, metaverse developer, or a gifted up-and-comer who needs to combine VFX into their social media content material.” Bronfman wrote.

The corporate plans to create a set of automated AI-driven merchandise which are built-in into each VFX and gaming expertise. For Hollywood, MARZ’s merchandise will purpose to permit for the power to create extra formidable content material. Relating to different markets like the tip client, Bronfman says MARZ’s options will purpose to make VFX accessible for the primary time ever. 

​​“MARZ is among the fastest-growing VFX studios within the trade with a popularity for leveraging expertise to ship a best-in-class product inside report timelines,” mentioned Brahm Klar, a accomplice at Round13 Capital, in a press release. “By partnering with MARZ, alongside a few of Canada’s most profitable buyers, we will work intently with the staff to construct on the corporate’s extraordinary success to date.”

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