Dark Slope Announces $1.5M investment from Relay Ventures

Funding will support Dark Slope’s ongoing expansion in Virtual Production.

John Albright, Co-Founder and General Partner, Relay Ventures
Jul 13, 2024

05 JUNE, 2024 (Toronto, ON) - Dark Slope, the virtual production studio and gaming company, today announces a $1.5M investment from Toronto based Relay Ventures, (“Relay”) an early-stage venture capital fund. Relay’s focus is on industries with potential for growth fueled by the rapid adoption of technology. Dark Slope’s leadership in virtual production and immersive gaming aligns with this philosophy, as spatial technologies and AI continue to revolutionize the creation of entertainment content. This funding will be used to accelerate Dark Slope’s integration of AI into its virtual production pipeline, and to drive IP creation and industry awareness of Dark Slope, its virtual production sound stages and related services. 

This investment comes alongside the previously announced investment from SideFX Software, industry leaders in 3D Animation/VFX tools. Side FX’s funding supported the development of Dark Slope’s new 35,000 sq ft virtual production studio, featuring two purpose built sound stages and one of the largest LED volumes in North America. 

“We have supported two of Raja’s prior ventures and are excited to collaborate with him again” John Albright, Co-Founder and General Partner, Relay Ventures. “Dark Slope’s innovative technologies, top-tier facilities, and focus on owning IP, positions them well for significant growth in the production and gaming worlds, and we are proud to support their journey.”

“With Relay’s expertise in supporting growth-focused tech and media companies, combined with SideFX’s deep expertise in VFX and content creation, we feel Dark Slope has incredible bench strength on its cap table.” said Raja Khanna, Executive Chair, Dark Slope. “This funding will enable us to expand our capabilities and accelerate our growth, particularly in the virtual production space where we see tremendous opportunity to both service the industry and develop original properties.”

Dark Slope’s decision to invest funds at this moment in the industry’s development was driven by the ongoing favorable content financing environment in Canada, coupled with the increasing demand for advanced digital production facilities. With Canada positioned for substantial growth in the production sector, Dark Slope is uniquely situated thanks to their world-class virtual production studios, and established team of experts in virtual production and game-engine development. 

ABOUT DARK SLOPE

Dark Slope is a virtual production and immersive gaming company founded on the core belief that spatial technologies will enhance and evolve how stories get told. Based in Toronto and operating from its 35,000 square foot studios, Dark Slope operates two premier purpose built sound stages, and one of the largest LED volumes in North America supported by a team of Unreal Engine production and gaming experts. Dark Slope has brought creative visions to life for partners including Marblemedia, Aircraft, Insight Productions, Nickelodeon International, Dave & Busters, Hasbro, Epic Games, NBC Peacock, Wildbrain, TVOntario, WarnerMedia and more. Earning industry acclaim including recognition as a  Realscreen Trailblazer (2023) and as a North America Deloitte Technology Fast 500TM (2022) and Canadian Deloitte Technology Fast 50TM (2022). To learn more visit: https://darkslope.com/

ABOUT RELAY VENTURES

Relay Ventures, founded in 2008, is one of Canada’s leading independent VC fund managers. The Firm is presently investing out of its fifth fund which commenced in 2022. It has invested in more than 130 companies and successfully exited more than half through M&A and IPO. The Firm has a team of 20 professionals with offices in Toronto, Calgary, and San Francisco.

ABOUT SIDEFX

Established in 1987, SideFX is a world leader in the development of 3D animation and visual effects software for use in film, commercials and video games. SideFX has been recognized for its Houdini software with five Scientific & Technical awards from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, plus an Engineering, Science & Technology Emmy Award. Houdini has been used by studios such as Weta, Disney, Pixar, DNEG, Framestore, EA, Blizzard, Ubisoft and more to create stunning digital work in blockbuster films and TV, including: Avatar: The Way of Water, Encanto, Frozen, Raya and the Last Dragon, Dune, Leave the World Behind, The Last of Us, Black Mirror, Moana, The Lord of the Rings, and more – and video games Ghost Recon, Battlefield, Gears of War, Mafia III, Dropzone, Killzone, Uncharted, and more.

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