Auro-3D Begins Its Next Chapter, New Leadership to Usher the Technology Forward

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(July 21, 2022) It appears Auro-3D has landed back on its feet, announcing that a private equity firm (Saffelberg Investments) has acquired all of the business's assets, committing to "future development and commercialization of the promising Auro-3D Technology." A new holding company, NewAuro BV, has been formed and will be headed by CEO Rudy Van Duppen and CTO Bert Van Daele. The duo shares 20 years of experience with Auro-3D and will be surrounded by Auro's current software development group and a team of professionals that will continue to support existing customers in the broadcast, digital cinema, home cinema, mobile, gaming, and automotive markets. Auro says its Board of Directors will comprise Saffelberg’s Director Luc Osselaer, as well as industry veteran Wiebo Vaartjes, former Executive Vice President and CEO of Philips Lifestyle Entertainment.

The company's new leadership claims that a "sound strategic vision" and promises of a healthy balance sheet will allow for future growth. Both factors heavily rely on brands in the industry that have expressed an interest in developing partnerships with Auro-3D, both on the technology and content side. Additionally, existing Auro-3D platforms and tools across Audio Coding, Audio Rendering, and Upmixing will be further developed, and a new next-gen streaming codec, Auro-Cx, will continue to be groomed for launch.

“Auro 3D’s technological edge, highly specialized staff, strong intellectual property, and excellent track record with world-leading audio brands was the deciding factor for us to make a pivotal investment”, says Luc Osselaer, Director at Saffelberg. “We feel that Auro 3D’s proven software platforms will shape the future of natural immersive sound.”
 

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Todd Anderson

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It's a real bummer that Auro-3D hasn't gained more traction in the US. If you've never heard Auro demoed on a proper setup, you're missing out. The company's demo discs are insanely convincing... just the bedrock basics of the technology are based on reasonable science. Its execution, when done right, is awesome.

Fingers crossed they bounce back and continue to innovate.
 

Chuck Gerlach

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The orignal Auro demo at CEDIA around 2014 (and eventually the available disc), with the Organ piece played in a church was the first (and probalby only) time I was actually "there" - in that church - and what convinced me to jump with both feet into the 3D audio landscape.

And while I hope for the sake of the investors that they will be successful, I just can't see them ever getting much, if any, penetration in the US movie market - or music market Just like Dolby has dominated (over DTS) in movies AND now music, Auro will have to have a different approach to this crazy business.

I do wish them well. Competition is great for consumers.
 

Todd Anderson

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Hey Chuck, I know exactly what you're talking about. That Organ piece (and the tractor/town square clips) are sensational. It is more like being there than any other demo material I've ever experienced.

There's a back story to Auro essentially getting blocked out of the US market in the consumer disc market. If true, it was an unwinnable situation from the start. It appears to me that Auro's best bet for survival is commercial cinema, cars, and phones. As much as I appreciate it for upmixing in the home theater environment, I think home theater is literally mission impossible.
 

SRW1000

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Is Wilfried Van Baelen, still part of the company?

It's hard to imagine Auro without him, but I didn't see his name in the press release.
 

Todd Anderson

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I *think* he’s no longer in the mix…
 

SRW1000

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That's sad, if true. He was a great spokesperson for the technology; always exuberant and energetic when talking about it.

I wonder what he'll be up to next.

Scott
 

Todd Anderson

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Hey Scott -
I’m trying to get confirmation. But, if true, definitely sad. I’ve had a chance to sit down with him twice and his passion for audio is beyond infectious (not to mention he’s incredibly friendly). Just a neat person.

I’d assume he’ll continue on with Galaxy Studio, which is a world renowned recording facility. It’s worth googling and reading about…
 

SRW1000

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On last week's Daily Hi Fi Podcast Joe and Channa both said they got similar emails from Wilfried thanking them for supporting the forum. They asked if he would be part of the new group but didn't receive a reply.

Judging from what they said, it sounds similar to what I've seen from coworkers immediately prior to leaving a company. It could also be the case that there is some negotiation going on between the two parties, and that's what I'm hoping for, but that seems less likely.

Either way I hope he stays in the public eye. His boundless enthusiasm brings a transferrable energy to whatever he talks about.

Scott
 

Todd Anderson

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On last week's Daily Hi Fi Podcast Joe and Channa both said they got similar emails from Wilfried thanking them for supporting the forum. They asked if he would be part of the new group but didn't receive a reply.

Judging from what they said, it sounds similar to what I've seen from coworkers immediately prior to leaving a company. It could also be the case that there is some negotiation going on between the two parties, and that's what I'm hoping for, but that seems less likely.

Either way I hope he stays in the public eye. His boundless enthusiasm brings a transferrable energy to whatever he talks about.

Scott
Yeah, I’ve not received a reply… makes me wonder how much of the bones of the operation were kept?
 
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