Digital firms merge thanks to Kelvin Capital funding

Two Scottish digital archiving businesses have joined forces to disrupt the global film digitisation industry and take advantage of a growing international market, thanks to investment from the investment syndicate Kelvin Capital and the Scottish Investment bank, the investment arm of Scottish Enterprise.

Digital firms merge thanks to Kelvin Capital funding

(from left) David Knox, Michael Howell and Angus Hay. Image by Julie Howden

As part of the growth strategy, Glasgow-based iMetaFilm has merged with UK Archiving, which will bring together operations, combined expertise and patented technology with the business set to take advantage of a growing international market.

The business will be based in Hamilton, at UK Archiving’s current premises, providing a cost effective, single point of contact for the flourishing digital archiving industry.

iMetaFilm has patent protected technology for the rapid digitisation of traditional moving film archives and has undertaken work for The Library of Congress in Washington DC, The Royal Society, Cambridge University, Edinburgh University, Glasgow University, Cuban National Film Archive, Hopscotch Films, Chivas Brothers and Diageo.

UK Archiving operates at the high end of the international digital archiving market with clients including the Senate Library, Tower of London, Science Museum and Wiener Library in London, the National Science and Media Museum in Bradford, Historic Environment Scotland in Edinburgh, National Library of Scotland and The Glasgow School of Art. Work for growing online genealogy websites and has also been successfully undertaken.

The funding led by the investment syndicate Kelvin Capital and the Scottish Investment Bank will allow the combined business to invest in new technical resources and staff to accelerate the commercialisation of iMetaFilm’s technology. The combined business currently employs 14 staff.

The GT4 Group, former owner of UK Archiving, has taken an equal shareholding in iMetaFilm which will see David Knox, previously managing director of UK Archiving, and three other members of The GT4 Group’s executive team joining iMetafilm’s board. David Knox will take on the role of managing director of iMetaFilm.

Angus Hay from Kelvin Capital said: “iMetaFilm’s technology is truly disruptive and a world first with a global patent portfolio. Combined with the outstanding client base and highly experienced management team of UK Archiving, we are looking at a true step change for this industry, providing a cost effective and significantly improved end product which requires zero preparation of the original film material, and that is a real game changer for the market.”

Michael Howell, founder and director of iMetafilm, said: “With everyone craving more and more digital content for use across countless media platforms, as well as a desire to protect and save film archives for future generations, iMetaFilm’s patented technology now unlocks and commercialises these archives for a wide range of existing and new markets of, literally, millions of hours of film of enormous commercial and cultural value.”

David Knox, managing director of iMetaFilm added: “People across the world have an endless interest in their past and the richness of content available through digitising film adds a fantastic dimension to the experience. The combined expertise of iMetaFilm and UK Archiving is very exciting for the digital archiving industry.”

Kerry Sharp, director of the Scottish Investment Bank, said: “This deal represents an exciting step change for iMetaFilm after joining forces with UK Archiving. We look forward to continuing our support so they can achieve their ambition of becoming a global force in digital archiving.”

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