Belfast VR firm RETìníZE raises £2m in seed round

Innovative technology from RETìníZE harnesses VR to revolutionise 3D animation process.

RETìníZE, the award-winning creative-tech company based in Belfast has raised £2m in a seed round led by Sure Valley Ventures.

Other investors in the round include TechStart Ventures, VGC Partners, Clarendon/Co-fund NI, Netherlands-based Angel Investor Association of Founders, Ben Morrow from Adobe as well as celebrated animation producers Bertram van Munster and Elise Doganieri.

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

RETìníZE is developing an innovative software product called Animotive that is harnessing the latest VR technologies to transform the 3D animation production process. This investment will drive the next two-year step in its growth journey and the global rollout of Animotive.

“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,” said RETìníZE CEO, Phil Morrow.

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

Vision for the future

RETìníZE is one of Europe’s fastest-growing creative-tech companies. It was founded in 2019 by father and son team CEO Phil Morrow and CTO Jack Morrow. Their roots and reputations were formed in high-end global film & television. The company originally spun out of Wild Rover Productions, formerly one of Ireland’s leading independent TV producers.

Up until now, RETìníZE has been best known for its award-winning Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality and immersive multi-screen experiences. However, since 2019 the company has been in stealth mode, developing Animotive, its immersive animation production tool.

RETìníZE clients include BBC, National Geographic, World Health Organisation, Save the Children, BMW, Tourism NI and Seagate.

Immersive software sector poised for growth

Led by Barry Downes, Sure Valley Ventures has made an initial £1m investment in the Belfast-based creative tech start-up. This is the first investment from its recently announced £95m UK Software Fund, which included a cornerstone £50m investment from the British Business Bank through its Enterprise Capital Funds programme.

Sure Valley recently announced plans to expand its London and Cambridge presence with an office in Manchester to allow better access for the team to proactively reach out to the creative and innovation clusters in Scotland and Northern Ireland. Sure Valley plans to invest into 25 software companies from across the UK through its new fund.

“We are delighted to support RETìníZE hot on the heels of launching our new software fund, as this innovative company enters an exciting new phase,” said Sure Valley Ventures principal Isabelle O’Keefe.

“We recognise that the immersive software sector is poised for exponential growth, and the plans that RETìníZE 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 RETìníZE.”

John Kennedy
Award-winning editor John Kennedy is one of Ireland's most experienced business and technology journalists.