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Advent Venture Partners Sponsors Foundry Buyout

Advent Venture Partners has sponsored a management buyout of The Foundry, a UK-based developer of visual effects software. No financial terms were disclosed.


Leading visual effects software developer, The Foundry, whose software products have been used to make many of the past year’s biggest motion pictures, today announced a management buyout for an undisclosed sum led by Advent Venture Partners.

Advent has backed the management team, led by CEO Dr Bill Collis and the original founders, in a transaction that sees the sale of the shareholdings of previous investors, Wyndcrest Holdings.

The Foundry is highly profitable and has more than doubled revenues in the last eighteen months to $10m. Advent’s support will permit the company to continue expanding from its Wardour Street headquarters.

The Foundry has a well-established client base that includes leading post production houses worldwide, such as Weta Digital in Wellington, New Zealand, Framestore in London, and Sony Imageworks in Los Angeles. It is at the cutting edge of software development, marketing and sales for visual effects compositing, which is the layering and manipulating of many image sequences to create a final shot. The Foundry has been taking significant share from the market leader, Apple’s Shake product, since 2007, and Advent believes it will become the industry standard over the next few years.

Established in 1996, The Foundry is a world-leading innovator of visual effects and image-processing technologies that boost productivity in motion picture and video post production. The Foundry’s product portfolio includes two AMPAS (Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences) Sci-Tech Award® winners: Nuke, a high end compositing system, and Furnace, a collection of problem solving tools based on advanced motion estimation technology.

Nuke was originally developed by Los Angeles post-production house, Digital Domain, before becoming part of The Foundry’s offering in 2007. Since then, The Foundry has invested aggressively in its development, making 12 product releases. The Foundry’s products have facilitated ambitious effects sequences on numerous major Hollywood blockbusters including: The Dark Knight, the Harry Potter franchise, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street; Speed Racer; Iron Man, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button*, Star Trek, Australia, Watchmen, X-Men Origins, Wolverine and many more.

Commenting on the completion of the transaction, Bill Collis, CEO of The Foundry said, “The Foundry is renowned for responding to user need and developing useful tools that boost productivity. With the backing of our previous investors, we enjoyed substantial growth and are now in a strong position to take the business forward with our new partners Advent Venture Partners. We are ready to realise our further ambitions for Nuke and the rest of our product portfolio, ensuring the company goes from strength to strength whilst maintaining strong customer focus.”

Mike Chalfen, General Partner at Advent Venture Partners, who is joining The Foundry Board remarked, “We are delighted to be backing an innovative and entrepreneurial management team with such a strong reputation and enviable market leading track record that together will generate interesting opportunities for this business. The Foundry’s products are ubiquitous in its field, its 3D stereoscopic technology is poised to dominate its market, and the company is a true European digital technology success story. Furthermore, our investment fits with Advent’s strategic focus of backing capital efficient, defensible and differentiated businesses that have a number of levers to make money for shareholders. We look forward to working with the team to realise the company’s enormous potential.”

*The Curious Case of Benjamin button picked up a BAFTA and Oscar® for Best Visual Effects as well as a plethora of VES (Visual Effects Society) awards including Best Compositing.

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Notes to Editors

About The Foundry

The Foundry is a world-leading innovator of visual effects and image processing technologies that boost productivity in motion picture and video post production. On February 10th 2007, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences awarded a Sci-Tech Award® to The Foundry’s development team for the Furnace image processing suite. The company now holds two products with AMPAS Sci-Tech Award® winning technology including high-end compositing system Nuke.

The Foundry’s products support a wide range of host platforms including After Effects, Autodesk® Media and Entertainment Systems, Avid DS, Baselight, Film Master, Nuke, Scratch, Shake and Final Cut Pro.

Customers include: Digital Domain, The Moving Picture Company, Framestore, Sony Pictures Imageworks, Warner Bros and Weta Digital Ltd.

The Foundry is headquartered in London, and has offices in Los Angeles. For more information please visit The Foundry’s website at, or call +44 20 7434 0449.

© The Foundry, its logo and product names are registered trademarks in the UK, USA and and/or other countries. Academy Award is a registered trademark of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. All other trademarks contained herein are the property of their respective owners.

About Advent Venture Partners

Advent is one of the premier growth and venture capital investors in Europe. The firm was established in 1981 and invests in both the technology and life sciences sectors having raised over £500m since 1998 from institutional investors across Europe and the USA. Advent’s Technology investments include: Cartesis (a growth capital investment sold to Business Objects for $300 million); Ubiquisys (systems for residential in-building cellular coverage); Qype (Europe’s leading local search and review site); Dailymotion (world’s largest independent video sharing site); and Echovox (mobile micro-payment business).