Groupe Renault and venture capital firm Newfund are investing in the startup Akoustic Arts, a specialist in directional sound, in order to accelerate its growth and deploy its products on a widescale.
Groupe Renault and Akoustic Arts have also entered into an agreement to adapt Akoustic Arts’ technology for Renault vehicles.
Akoustic Arts has developed a unique, patented ultra-directional sound technology. The content is projected through the air creating a private bubble of sound that only the target user hears. In this way, the technology can provide several distinct immersive experiences for different people at the same time.
Following a period of R&D, the project will focus on the development of onboard directional speakers for Renault models. Products aimed at the post-sales network will also be considered.
“We are delighted to be investing in young company Akoustic Arts alongside Newfund. Together, we will create innovative onboard directional speakers. For Groupe Renault, the onboard audio experience is a differentiating factor, especially with the development of connected and autonomous vehicles and future onboard editorial content,” said Gaspar Gascon Abellan, deputy alliance engineering executive vice president.
“After this initial phase devoted to the development of our ultra-directional sound technology, Groupe Renault and Newfund’s equity participation in Akoustic Arts will be a powerful driver of acceleration. The synergy between these two players will allow us to reach our shared objectives. The first is to revolutionize the in-store experience with our A speaker; the second is to develop a product for the automotive market by drawing on the incredible expertise of Renault’s teams,” said Ilan Kaddouch, CEO of Akoustic Arts.
“Akoustic Arts has developed a unique technology that already perfectly meets the need for sound technology in public spaces – notably in the retail industry – through its first product, the A speaker. This capital injection will enable the team to continue to win over new customers on this priority market, and to rapidly develop a product adapted to vehicles, with the help of Groupe Renault. We are thrilled to participate in this project,” commented Ivan Michal, partner at Newfund.