SME News March 2018

22 SME NEWS / Q1 2018 , Funds advised andmanagedbyYFMEquityPartners (“YFM”), the specialist private equity fund manager have backed an investment intoNcamTechnologies Limited, aprovider of innovative and leadingAugmentedReality solutions for the entertainment industries. YFM Equity Partners Invest to Support the Growth of Augmented Reality Specialist Ncam YFM are specialist, independently owned, private equity investors. With over 30 years of experience the firm seeks to unlock value and growth potential by providing up to £10 million of equity to fuel the development of established business throughout the UK regions. The firm achieves this by helping its portfolio companies grow niche businesses, launch new initiatives, make transformative acquisitions and upgrade technologies and systems. Through its offices in Leeds, London, Manchester, Birmingham and Sheffield, YMF is dedicated to working alongside management teams to create long-term value for its investors, the companies it invests in and a positive economic impact for the communities in which it works. The team manage and advise funds in excess of £200 million which include venture capital trusts and private equity funds. YFM’s investment in Ncam comes from its two advised VCTs, British Smaller Companies VCT plc and British Smaller Companies VCT2 plc alongside the YFM Equity Partners 2015 Co-Investment LP. Charlie Robinson and Colin Granger led the Investment for YFM, with Charlie Robinson joining the Board. Ncam was founded in 2012 by Nic Hatch (CEO), Sam Boivin (CTO) and Brice Michoud (Senior R&D Engineer) to develop a unique augmented reality solution which combines patented camera tracking hardware that fuses data from multiple sources with proprietary software to adapt the application to its target markets. The device uses a lightweight sensor bar attached to a camera to track natural features in the environment, allowing the camera to move freely in all locations while generating a continuous stream of extremely precise positional and rotational information that can feed all industry standard graphics engines via Ncam’s powerful and flexible software development kit. Nic Hatch, Co-Founder and CEO of Ncam, commented on the move and how it would impact on the company. “Our vision is to set a precedent of what can be achieved within real-time visual effects. Our relationship with YFM will allow us to expand our technological capabilities’ and keep Ncam at the forefront of augmented reality.” Ncam’s award winning products are utilised globally across Broadcast, Film and Episodic TV production. Customers and users include Fantastic Beasts (Warner Bros), UEFA Champions League (BT Sport), NFC Championship Game (Fox Sports), Game of Thrones Season 8 (HBO), Monday Night Football (ESPN), Super Bowl XLVIII (Fox Sports), Avengers: Age of Ultron (Marvel), Daytona (Fox Sports), and Jupiter Ascending (Warner Bros). In recent years Ncam has been awarded an Emmy Award for Outstanding Achievement in Engineering Development, Experience & Technology Awards for Best use of Augmented Reality with Ford Motor Company and a Queen’s Award for Innovation for their work in augmented reality for film and television. YFM’s funds will be used to support the development of new products, invest in the team, and help the business extend its reach into new territories, especially the USA where a new office opening is planned for 2018.