Belfast start-up Retinize backed with £2m for VR software roll-out

The Retinize father and son team of Phil and Jack Morrow.

BELFAST-based creative-tech company Retinize has closed a £2 million seed round to help develop its new virtual reality (VR) product.

The start-up, which is based close to Queen’s University, said the fresh capital will “supercharge” its growth plans and help the global rollout of its Animotive software, which is harnessing VR technologies to transform the 3D animation production process.

Set up in 2019 by father and son team Phil and Jack Morrow, Retinize spun out of Irish independent TV company Wild Rover Productions.

It already lists BBC, National Geographic, BMW, Seagate and World Health Organisation among its clients.

Irish-founded venture capital firm Sure Valley Ventures (SVV) has led the funding round with a £1 million investment.

It’s the first investment from SVV’s recently announced £95m UK Software Fund, which included £50m investment from the British Business Bank.

The funding round has also been backed by Bertram van Munster and Elise Doganieri, producers behind the hit US TV show ‘the Amazing Race’.

More familiar investors including TechStart Ventures and Clarendon/Co-fund NI are also involved, along with London-based VGC Partners and a dutch association of founders.

Retinize chief executive Phil Morrow said: “We are thrilled to have Sure Valley on board as our lead investor - they have a deep knowledge of the creative tech sector and what impressed us most was the time they took to really understand and challenge our long-term goals and objectives.

“This investment will supercharge our growth trajectory and will allow us to take Animotive to the international market.”

SVV principal Isabelle O’Keeffe, said: “ We recognise that the immersive software sector is poised for exponential growth, and the plans that Retinize has for Animotive will position the company at the forefront of this expansion.

“We will continue to identify new opportunities in Metaverse, AI and Cybersecurity as we deploy our Fund II capital, with a focus on UK companies which are bringing a disruptive innovation to market, like Retinize.”

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