Edinburgh AI firm hires tech veteran as chief operating officer

Kythera AI has appointed technology industry veteran Michael Boniface as its chief operating officer – and secured £750,000 in funding.

The Edinburgh-headquartered company provides software tools to the creative industries, specialising in ‘middleware’ for 3D game engines.

The seed investment comes from Techstart Ventures and should help the business scale, with ambition to be a global leader in artificial intelligence (AI) technology for video games and adjacent sectors.

Boniface brings more than 15 years’ experience, including as managing director of gaming firm Reloaded Productions and vice president of technology and operations at JP Morgan Chase.

In 2016, he established Chinese gaming giant Skymoon’s first western hemisphere studio in Edinburgh, before brokering its sale to a US publisher.

He joined Aberdeen-based private and public sector economic development body ONE CodeBase in 2018 as its head and is also a member of the Scottish AI Leadership Circle providing guidance on the delivery of the Scottish Government’s AI Strategy.

Matthew Jack, chief executive at Kythera, said: “Kythera AI has seen rapid customer adoption in the last two years with games studios relying more and more on AI middleware to provide a unique gaming experience.

“With the addition of Michael to the team and the experience and support of Techstart Ventures we are well positioned to continue to push the boundaries of AI in the creative industries and provide our customers with the best tools to create engaging and immersive experiences.”

Boniface added: “Having known the team at Kythera AI for some time I have witnessed first hand how their technology puts the ability to create rich and engaging gaming experiences in the hands of designers and developers of all levels.

“This is an exciting time to be joining the organisation and I am looking forward to contributing to growing the company and team to help maximise our success.”

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