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Outpost VFX Secures Private Equity Investment

Studio strikes multi-million-pound deal with YFM Equity Partners; The Mill co-founder and CEO Robin Shenfield named new board chair, will leverage his vast experience to support company’s global expansion.

Outpost VFX has secured a multi-million-pound investment from funds managed by YFM Equity Partners. The investment will facilitate the company’s global expansion, development of infrastructure, and proprietary platforms. It will also help accelerate the integration of machine learning within the production management IP, further its training and career pathways IP, and build out a global IT architecture.

The VFX house has also appointed Robin Shenfield to the board as chair. As co-founder and CEO of The Mill, Shenfield grew the company to over 1,100 employees across the US and UK. He also attracted several rounds of private equity investment before eventually overseeing its £190m acquisition by Technicolor in 2015. With decades of experience at the forefront of visual effects, he will leverage his substantial experience in the creative sector to support Outpost VFX’s pursuit of a sustainable growth strategy for 2021, beginning with its expansion into Los Angeles.

“Duncan and the team at Outpost have created a culture that really values the contribution of artists in producing outstanding creative work,” remarked Shenfield. “I am really looking forward to helping them develop to service the growing needs of their clients.”

“I’m particularly excited that Robin will be joining us as chair,” commented Outpost VFX founder & CEO Duncan McWilliam. “Robin founded The Mill and created arguably the world’s most successful visual effects brand, which numbers among its many awards an Oscar for Best Visual Effects for its work on Gladiator. His experience in balancing a creative-led culture with excellent client relationships and production management will be key to supporting Outpost’s core values as we scale.”

YFM has been investing in emerging businesses in the UK since 1982 with a focus on helping them scale quickly. Its other investments in the film and broadcast sector include digital mastering and localization provider Eikon and virtual production company Ncam.

“Outpost has delivered impressive growth over recent years, driven by Duncan and his team’s focus on internal culture, operational efficiency, and high-quality creative output,” noted YFM investment manager Adam Hart. “With this round of funding, recent key additions to the management team, and Robin Shenfield joining as non-executive chair, Outpost is well-placed to solidify its position as an important player in the international VFX market. We look forward to partnering with the team through the next stage of this exciting journey.”

“Our ambition has always been to create exceptional visual effects to support our clients’ needs whilst endeavoring to create a better work/life balance for our employees and pursuing a progressive culture,” shared McWilliam. “This investment allows us to take our mission further and faster, leveraging technology advances across our four international studios, building upon our forward-thinking employee culture, and investing in our talent across the board.”

“While it has been a very difficult year for film and episodic markets across the globe, demand for exceptional quality visual entertainment has never been higher and competition for market share between the streamers is driving rapid growth,” he added. “YFM’s investment is a reflection of the strong market fundamentals in the visual effects sector which is set for unprecedented expansion in 2021/22, and the unique qualities in Outpost’s vision for the coming years.”

Source: Outpost VFX