RETìníZE closes £2 million seed investment round led by Sure Valley Ventures

RETìníZE Limited, the award-winning creative-tech company based in Belfast, has closed a £2 million seed round led by Sure Valley Ventures, the founder-led VC firm that invests in high growth software companies. 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.

This seed round, led by Sure Valley Ventures with a £1 million investment, is the first investment from its recently announced £95 million UK Software Fund, which included a cornerstone £50 million investment from the British Business Bank.

Sure Valley Venture is joined in this round by investors from the UK, USA, Ireland and the Netherlands:

  • TechStart Ventures – leading investor of seed capital across Scotland and Northern Ireland, following on from their 2019 pre-seed investment in RETìníZE
  • VGC Partners – London based investor building great companies at the intersection of physical and digital commerce
  • Clarendon/Co-fund NI – equity fund based in Northern Ireland that co-invest with business angels and private investors
  • Angel investor association of founders – based in the Netherlands
  • Bertram van Munster & Elise Doganieri – multi Emmy award-winning producers behind the CBS hit show “the Amazing Race”
  • Ben Morrow – Senior Product Manager, Adobe Aero (Adobe’s AR creation tool)

RETìníZE CEOPhil 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.”

Sure Valley Ventures PrincipalIsabelle O’Keeffe, said: “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. 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.”

The Pixel Mill mentors

We are looking for experienced freelancers from the video game industry to provide mentoring services at our collaborative co-working space for game developers, The Pixel Mill. The role will involve meeting with gaming companies and freelancers in receipt of support from Northern Ireland Screen.

The freelance mentors must have a particular insight into their area of expertise and be able to provide clear and informed advice to companies and freelancers.

The areas of video game development that we require mentors in are:

  • Production – Providing advice on how to prepare production schedules and budgets, the day-to-day management of a production and the overall role of a producer within video game development. Mentor should provide guidance on preparing projects for releases on different platforms and their certification processes.
  • Marketing – Providing advice on marketing and community management strategy for a video game. Mentor should be able to provide guidance on the different approaches to video game marketing, for example social media, PR etc.
  • Publishing/Business – Providing advice on preparing projects to be pitched and best practice for presenting projects to secure publishing deals or work-for-hire contracts. Mentor should be able to provide advice on the publishing market and trends within the market. Experience in business development within video games.
  • Design – Providing advice on how to improve the design and experience of a video game. Mentor should provide guidance on best practice for game design across different platforms, PC/Console and mobile. Experience can cover game design, level design and narrative design.
  • Art – Providing advice on creating art assets within video game development. Mentor should be able to provide guidance on the art development process of a project from concept through to asset creation and best practice for improving workflows as well as guiding art direction for a project. Experience can be either in 2D or 3D art, character or environmental
  • Programming – Providing advice on the technical development of a video game. Providing guidance on best practice for code structure and best tools/plugins for improving workflows. Experience of Unreal or Unity as well as porting games to different platforms.
  • UX/UI – Providing advice on the design of user interface and user experience for video games. Providing guidance for best practice in UX/UI. Experience in PC/Console or mobile video games development.
  • Legal – Providing advice on publishing contracts and work for hire projects within the video game industry. Providing guidance for best practice on implementing legal processes for an SME within the video game industry.
  • Accounting – Providing advice on best practice on implementing financial processes for an SME within the video game industry.
  • User Testing – Providing user testing for video games video games at a prototype stage. Providing guidance on implementing internal user testing for a SME within the video game industry.


Individuals who wish to be considered for inclusion on our freelance mentor list must be able to demonstrate the following minimum professional criteria:

  • Have a relevant qualification for the area of expertise applied, for example accountancy, be a member of a recognised accountancy body
  • Have a minimum of 12 consecutive months experience in video game development in the area of expertise applied for
  • Have a minimum of 12 consecutive months experience of providing advice or guidance to companies, freelancers or teams working within the video game development
  • Evidence an excellent knowledge of the video game development industry in the UK and Ireland as well as a good knowledge


Individuals, in support of the above criteria, must submit a CV with two references regarding this area of work and a cover letter outlining their relevant experience to the area applied for.

Please send these documents and the daily rate for providing mentoring advice to

Please note applicants should only forward their interest to this email address or by post to:

Northern Ireland Screen
Alfred House
21 Alfred Street

Individuals will be classed as supplier to Northern Ireland Screen and will be liable for their own HMRC and VAT payments.

You will be asked to attend an interview if your application is successful.

All candidates will be required to undergo Access NI.

Closing date is Friday 1st April at 12 noon.


It is anticipated that:

  • Subject to the continuing availability of funding this framework will be live for a maximum of 24 months.
  • Mentors may provide up to 12 days of support across the 24 months, however, it should be noted that Northern Ireland Screen cannot guarantee a level of work.
  • Service provision will commence in April 2022.


Individuals applying must not make assumptions that Northern Ireland Screen has prior knowledge of them or their service provision and they will only be evaluated on the information provided in their response.


The service provider must confirm that they have no conflict of interest or perceived conflict of interest in delivering this service.

The successful service provider must not allow themselves to be placed in a position where their personal interests are in conflict (or could be in conflict) with the interests or business of Northern Ireland Screen.


Payment will be made following receipt and approval by Northern Ireland Screen of a detailed invoice.

European Games Co-production Market call for applications

Are you struggling with the completion of your financing? Do you need a specific expertise? Do you want to access European talents? Do you want to have a better international exposure? Or on the contrary, do you have the resources to co-develop a project with a foreign partner?

The European Games Co-production Market is a programme powered by SpielFabrique, aimed at bringing studios from all over Europe to develop and finance indie games together. The programme lasts 6 months (June – November) and finds a co-producer for your game, defines your common strategy and pitch to publishers and financiers.

The market is supported by Creative Europe and is composed of several milestones’ events and activities:

  • Admission of the studios (1st March to 4th April)
  • Mentoring preparation for the matchmaking days (April – May)
  • Online matchmaking days (June – July)
  • Offline mentoring event for coproduction teams to prepare the coproduction market with different experts (September)
  • Online Coproduction Market. Presentations and panels of experts. Pitching sessions of the coproduction teams and online private meetings with publishers and financiers (October)

Who can apply?

The European Games Co-production Market is looking for studios from France, Germany, Spain, Belgium (Flanders & Wallonia), Croatia, Denmark, Northern Ireland, Ireland, Netherlands, Norway and Tunisia!

Either you are a small indie game studio with a video game prototype looking for a partner to support you on your project, bringing financing and/or specific expertise. In this case you need a project pitch for the market, with at least a prototype to present. The studio has to be already established.

Or you are small/medium indie game studios looking for a project to co-produce. You need to be an established studio and you must pitch what kind of support you can provide and what kind of project you can work on, how you can help another studio with your experiences and knowledges.

Click HERE to apply.

Deadline: Monday 4th April

Northern Ireland Screen will be holding an information session on the programme on Thursday 24th March at 10:30am for any Northern Ireland studio that would be interested in finding out more. Contact Rory at if you would like to attend, in-person or virtually.

The European coproduction market is supported by Arte, Creative Europe and all the countries listed above.

Tranzfuser competition is open for applications

Teams of graduates from across the UK are invited to apply to their nearest Tranzfuser Local Hub to be in with a chance of securing a place on the only nationwide game dev talent development programme with a direct link to funding for commercial development.

This year, the focus of the competition is very much on encouraging the upcoming entrepreneurial passionate talent to turn their dream of running a sustainable commercial game dev studio into reality. With prize funding of £6,000 allocated during the summer-long programme, teams have the freedom to work as independent studios in the creation of their own games whilst simultaneously having the invaluable support of the Tranzfuser Local Hub network.

With 24 Local Hubs based right across the UK, applicants to the 2022 programme have a wide choice of bases from which they can self-select. Hubs may act as a physical meeting/working space for teams and individual sites offer tailored support for their Tranzfuser teams.

Richard WilliamsCEO of Northern Ireland Screen said: “We are delighted to act as a regional hub for Tranzfuser in Northern Ireland at The Pixel Mill, our collaborative co-working space for game developers. Tranzfuser is a fantastic opportunity to nurture the next generation of talent to become leaders in the interactive sector and to get support to create their own games. I wish all of this year’s entrants the best of luck in the competition and look forward to seeing what prototypes each company develops.”

Passionate entrepreneurs will be encouraged to engage with the suite of learning resources available exclusively to Tranzfuser teams, as well as each studio having unique access to some of the industry’s successful professional developers in their role as Tranzfuser Facilitators.

Richard Hebblewhite from Wrexham Glyndwr University said: “Tranzfuser has become a key player in the development of the grass roots industry across the UK. The hub at WGU has benefited greatly from our long-time partnership with many participants now enjoying successful careers in the industry as a result. If you are interested in forging your own career path and owning your own studio, Tranzfuser is the perfect launchpad!”

Deborah FarleyHead of Tranzfuser said: “Tranzfuser 2022 is set to be a stand-out year! With the strong network of engaged and passionate Local Hubs across the UK, as well as the highly curated Games Biz Academy and hand-picked industry-expert Facilitators our teams will have a truly remarkable opportunity to grow as professional game developers.

“Since launching in 2016 20 Tranzfuser teams have formed companies and secured a UK Games Fund grant after the competition. We’re thrilled at the prospect of welcoming this year’s talented cohort of graduates through our doors, and look forward to announcing which teams will be selected for further grant funding support from the UK Games Fund later in the year.

“For now, I would strongly encourage everyone who is interested in finding out more about Tranzfuser to join our Discord.”

Teams have until Tuesday 19th April to submit their written application to Tranzfuser, with the upload of the required video pitch to follow no later than Tuesday 26th April.

Click HERE to apply.