DNEG Group Raises $200M to Boost Innovation in Visual Entertainment Technology

DNEG Group

BENGALURU, July 2, 2024 – The DNEG Group (“the Group”), the London headquartered world leader in visual entertainment technology and services, announced today that United Al Saqer Group (“UASG”) will make a strategic investment of $200 million in the Group, at a total enterprise valuation over $2 billion.

The DNEG Group has a consistent 25-year track record of innovating to lead in the visual effects (VFX) segment and strong profitable growth. Like all parts of the media & entertainment sector, the market in which The DNEG Group operates is undergoing a rapid evolution. The investment by UASG will accelerate The DNEG Group’s strategy of innovation and diversification to evolve from a pure visual effects services provider to a sector-agnostic content production and AI-powered technology partner, ensuring continued technology and creative leadership. In particular:

The DNEG Group will fully activate its technology division, Brahma, which is developing the industry’s most comprehensive AI-powered, photo-real CGI creator, including Ziva, to which DNEG recently acquired the exclusive license from Unity. Brahma will democratize photo-real content creation in a wide range of applications and will be built on over 25 years of industry-leading proprietary data to create a product of unique quality.
The DNEG Group’s intellectual property (IP) and content creation arm, Prime Focus Studios, will be enabled to expand its investment in, and production of high-quality content, following its recent successful co-production of The Garfield Movie.
The DNEG Group will open a new office and visual experience hub in Abu Dhabi, with plans to develop a world-class ecosystem in the Middle East for content production, storage, and distribution. This will support the creation of highly skilled jobs across the media and technology sectors, strengthening the region’s place as a creative powerhouse.

DNEG Chairman and CEO Namit Malhotra will continue in his current role. He will be joined on the Group’s Board of Directors by Nabil Kobeissi and Edouard Zard from UASG, and by Prabhu Narasimhan from NaMa Capital, a leading investor in The DNEG Group, who will also become Executive Chairman of Brahma. Prabhu Narasimhan will take a leave of absence from NaMa Capital to oversee the launch and expansion of Brahma.

The DNEG Group consists of:

  • DNEG will continue providing its Academy Award® winning visual effects, animation, and associated creative services to Hollywood and global visual entertainment creators. DNEG is known for its work on numerous high-profile movies and animations, such as Dune, Oppenheimer, Interstellar, Tenet, and Blade Runner 2049, as well as the Harry Potter, James Bond, Fast and Furious, Mission: Impossible, and Marvel Cinematic Universe franchises.
  • Brahma, which will be fully activated and will provide the industry’s leading AI-powered, photo-real CGI creator.
  • Prime Focus Studios, will increase its content and IP investment and development across live-action, animation, and gaming. Prime Focus is currently co-producing several high-profile feature films, including Animal Friends, the Indian epic Ramayana, and The Angry Birds Movie 3.
  • Prime Focus Technologies, is a leader in cloud-based software and artificial intelligence (AI) technology, including the CLEAR® AI content creation, content management and content marketing and distribution suite.

His Excellency Ahmed Jasim Al Zaabi, Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development said, “The strategic investment by United Al Saqer Group in The DNEG Group is a testament to Abu Dhabi’s emergence as a global powerhouse for creativity, innovation, technology, and investment. This partnership not only accelerates technological advancements in the media and entertainment sectors but also underscores our commitment to fostering a robust ecosystem for content creation. By establishing a new visual experience hub in Abu Dhabi, we are creating numerous job opportunities and enhancing our ecosystem that supports high-tech industries and creative excellence. This move reaffirms Abu Dhabi’s status as a prime destination for groundbreaking investments, visionary enterprises, and a thriving environment where creativity and technology converge.”

Nabil Kobeissi, CEO of UASG said, “We are thrilled to join forces with Namit, Prabhu, and the DNEG Group. Namit’s visionary approach to revolutionizing the media and entertainment industry through cutting-edge technology is unparalleled. This strategic partnership not only turbo-charges the development of Brahma, the Group’s ground-breaking AI-powered CGI creator but also, under Namit’s leadership, demonstrates Abu Dhabi’s positioning as a global epicenter for content creation and distribution. By championing advanced AI technologies and expanding Prime Focus Studios, we are set to drive innovation and generate significant job opportunities across the UAE.”

DNEG Chairman and CEO Namit Malhotra said, “My career has been built on investing in and leading visual creativity with technology. Our partnership with UASG, the launch of Brahma, and the success of our content creation platform are all being fuelled by the power of our technology. We are redefining our business model as a leader in top-end solutions across the world, raising the bar in storytelling by using the latest technology and creative capabilities.

“This investment will accelerate our plans to further drive The DNEG Group’s existing activities and enable the Group to expand its offering, both in terms of the services we provide and the markets we operate in. We are building on our success with the opening of a studio in Abu Dhabi, bringing content creation and technological capabilities to the region, positioning us as a leader there, and allowing us to leverage our global capabilities like no other.”

Prabhu Narasimhan, Executive Chairman, Brahma said, “We aim to enable every storyteller to translate their imagination to screen faster, cheaper, and better, by equipping them with Brahma, which we are developing to be the most comprehensive AI-driven photo-real CGI creator. In the coming months, we will add to the leadership team of Brahma, fusing top technology and AI talent with visual effects creatives to make Brahma available to everyone with a story to tell.”

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