Visual effects company behind Ex-Machina and Sherlock secures £2m

Launched four years ago, Oscar-winning Milk now employs around 150 staff. It will use the BGF funding to support production of visual effects and formats

Milk Visual Effects, an Academy Award-winning start-up which creates visual effects for feature films and high-end television, has joined the Business Growth Fund’s (BGF) investment portfolio after clinching £2m funding.

Founded in 2013, independent studio Milk has created a number of innovative and complex sequences for major productions and has won awards for its work on Ex-Machina, TV series Sherlock, and BBC dramas Doctor Who and Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell.

The business, which has studio space in London and Cardiff, also boasts credits for films such as Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, The Divergent Series; Insurgent, and The Martian.

With a team of 150, the start-up plans to use the BGF investment to “accelerate its ambitious growth plan”. This includes continuing to develop its work streams for the production of visual effects and formats for a number of projects including Lionsgate’s Kingsman 2 and series 10 of Doctor Who.

To coincide with the investment, Milk has announced the appointment of former Pinewood Group CEO; Ivan Dunleavy, as its non-executive chairman.

Having successfully managed the growth of the iconic film-making company for 17 years, it’s hoped that Dunleavy’s experience will support Milk’s future growth plans.

Commenting on the news, Will Cohen, CEO of Milk, said:

“Our new partnership with BGF and the appointment of Ivan Dunleavy as chairman will help us to deliver the most challenging and creative visual effects work for the global feature film, high end television and emerging digital content markets.

“We look forward to building on our success over the last four years – which is testament to the dedication and expertise of our team at Milk. It’s a wonderful way to begin our fifth year in business.” 

Gavin Petken, regional director at BGF, added: “We are delighted to back Milk in their quest to create an independent visual effects business of scale.

“Cohen and the team have an outstanding reputation for delivering innovative, ground breaking visual effects and have cultivated valuable and strategic commercial relationships.”

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