Extended Reality and virtual production specialist, disguise, has won new backing from investment outfit, The Carlyle Group.

disguise will now be supported by The Carlyle Group and by Epic Games who take a minority stake. Led by CEO Fernando Kufer, disguise employees will also retain a significant minority share, with Founder Ash Nehru still the largest shareholder amongst them. Existing Private Equity partner Livingbridge will also reinvest in the transaction.

The Carlyle Group will support disguise as it continues to drive growth in virtual production, xR, events, installations, and broadcast. Michael Wand, Managing Director and Co-Head of the Carlyle Europe Technology advisory team, will join the board of disguise. He was previously involved with investments such as The Mill and Foundry, and is currently a board member of other media tech businesses such as the digital agency DEPT.

Mr Wand said: “The virtual production market is forecast to grow substantially, and we believe that disguise is uniquely placed to benefit from the accelerated demand for LED-based visual experiences and capture further market share. In partnering with the disguise management team, we will look to leverage our significant expertise in scaling media technology companies as we support the company to become a global leader.”

Epic Games will take a minority stake in disguise, enhancing an already strong partnership between the two companies. Production companies and broadcasters are embracing the benefits of virtual production techniques, built on photorealistic real-time graphics engines such as Epic’s Unreal Engine, and LED infrastructure for immersing presenters and performers in virtual environments.

For disguise, recently ranked #98 in the Sunday Times top 200 Exporters, the partnership with Carlyle will accelerate the company’s growth plan, focusing on international expansion, continued innovation, and enhanced support and product offerings for its customers. CEO Fernando Kufer said: “We’re proud of the journey that we have been on with our customers and are excited by what the future holds. We’re delighted to work alongside Carlyle, who understand our vision for growth, in this next phase of the disguise story, and are excited to keep driving innovation in virtual production and xR stages with Epic. In partnering with Carlyle, the future is very bright for disguise, its customers, and its community.”

Jon Creamer