Facial Animation Firm Gets $8M, Goes Public

Image Metrics announces new round of financing

Image Metrics, a Santa Monica firm that creates facial animation software for video games and films, announced that it has secured $8 million in new financing.

The company – responsible for award-winning visual effects in “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” and “Grand Theft Auto” video game – also announced that it would go public. Image said it would announce its stock symbol soon.

Michael Starkenburg, Image’s CEO, said the cash will be used to expand the sales and marketing efforts, support the launch of new facial animation software and develop new products in the digital arena. He added: “Gamers are seeking increasingly realistic and immersive experiences and believable facial performances.”

The company reported revenues of $4.0 million in the fiscal year-ended September 30, 2009, and said it had “a backlog of contracts” valued at $5 million heading into fiscal 2010.

The company reported a net loss of $6.8 million in fiscal 2009, but said its results are improving.