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ZOO Digital takes the silver screen by storm

Published: 30th July 2009

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(from L to R) Helen Gilder, Group Finance Director at ZOO Digital Group plc with Debbie Sorby and Grahame Lunt from SYIF.

A creative media production company from Sheffield has taken the silver screen by storm, thanks to more than £900,000 of funding from South Yorkshire Investment Fund (SYIF).

ZOO Digital provides creative and technological solutions that concentrate on automating processes such as audio translation, DVD and Blu-ray Disc production, for film studios, television networks and corporate clients around the globe.

The company received the funding over four years, through a series of equity linked investments and business loans.

Helen Gilder, Group Finance Director at ZOO Digital Group plc, commented: “A major film will often be translated into 40 different languages, this is time consuming but we can automate this process saving both time and money.  

“We also provide creative services for clients, such as graphic design and special features for DVDs.”

Founded in Sheffield in 2001, ZOO Digital has gone from strength to strength. The company now has a second office in Los Angeles and counts some of the biggest film studios in Hollywood as clients.

Helen said: “Thanks to SYIF we have been able to advance our products and the business into the ‘pre-media’ sector, meaning we can produce virtually any printed materials from posters to packaging and advertising.

“As part of a wider strategy we have also established an operation in LA. We work directly with a lot of the major Hollywood studios, so it made sense to be on location.

“However, we’ve not forgotten our Sheffield roots and we still carry out most of our software product development from our office in Furnival Square.

“SYIF have been fantastic and we wouldn’t be where we are today without their help. In addition to the investments we’ve received, they have always been on hand to provide business support and help.

“They have always believed in us as a company too – and that makes a huge difference.”

Debbie Sorby, portfolio manager at SYIF said: “ZOO Digital is a highly creative and innovative company. It is a true South Yorkshire success story – they have taken a small local business and turned it into a worldwide brand.

“We are delighted to have played a part in the development of ZOO Digital and can’t wait to see what other great things the future holds for them.”

SYIF can provide seedcorn, loan and equity linked investments, ranging from £15k to £2.5m, specifically to help small and medium businesses meet the gaps in funding they need for growth and development.

For more information about South Yorkshire Investment Fund, please visit www.syif.com or ring 01709 386377

Editor's Notes

About South Yorkshire Investment Fund

South Yorkshire Investment Fund  provided seedcorn, loan and equity linked investments, ranging from £15k to £2.5m, specifically to help small and medium businesses meet the gaps in funding they need for growth and development.

Created as part of the Objective 1 programme, the Fund is a private and public sector business finance provider. The European Regional Development Fund and Yorkshire Forward are investors in the Fund.

South Yorkshire Investment Fund also provided access to Business Angel investments from the Yorkshire Association of Business Angels and Microloans through BiG Business Loan Fund and Donbac Microloan Fund.

Finance Yorkshire has now taken on responsibility for providing gap finance in Yorkshire and the Humber.

For further details please contact Suzanne Tinkler,  on 0845 649 0000.

South Yorkshire Investment Fund Ltd is a company limited by guarantee (Registered No 3936065). South Yorkshire Investment Fund comprises three sub funds, the South Yorkshire Investment Capital Fund, the South Yorkshire Investment Development Fund, which are each managed by YFM Venture Finance Limited, and the South Yorkshire Investment Small Business Fund, which is managed by Finance South Yorkshire Ltd. YFM Venture Finance Limited (Tel 0113 294 5000) and Finance South Yorkshire Ltd (Tel 01709 386 377) are each authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority. South Yorkshire Investment Fund also provides a number of services, which are not regulated by The Financial Services Authority. These include the pilot Seedcorn Fund, BiG Business Loan Fund, Mentorbank and access to the Donbac Microloan Fund. BiG Business Loan Fund is managed by Donbac Ltd (company registration No. 01925556) and Key Fund Yorkshire Ltd (Tel 0114 242 8900).