£50 million of new funding to support Cambridge companies

Hf entrance

A new £50 million investment business has been launched to support the development of University spin-outs and other early-stage technology companies in the Cambridge Cluster.

“With the launch of CIC, the University and our co-investors are taking an important step in supporting the continued economic growth of the region and the country.” — Leszek Borysiewicz, Vice-Chancellor

Cambridge Innovation Capital (CIC) has been established, with support from the University of Cambridge, to provide long-term finance that will help companies bridge the critical middle stage of commercial development, the so-called ‘valley of death.’

CIC will invest in a broad range of companies at different stages in their development, using a long term return strategy - removing the pressure to deliver the early exits associated with the traditional venture capital model. The initial funding will be invested over three years.

“The University benefits society through the pursuit, dissemination, and application of knowledge. Today we are furthering that mission by partnering with experienced investors, innovators and managers to help the early stage technology companies of today become the great businesses of tomorrow,” said Professor Sir Leszek Borysiewicz, the University’s Vice-Chancellor. “With the launch of CIC, the University and our co-investors are taking an important step in supporting the continued economic growth of the region and the country.”

The lead investors in the fund are Invesco Perpetual and Lansdowne Partners, with further capital provided by a number of investors including the University of Cambridge Endowment Fund, ARM Holdings and IP Group. In addition to the capital that it is investing, the University will support CIC through Cambridge Enterprise, its commercialisation arm.

“Many good companies have to spend too much time fundraising, leaving them with less time to focus on running their business,” said Edward Benthall, CIC’s Non-Executive Chairman. “CIC will work with angel and other long term investors to bring innovative technologies to market and help build world-class businesses.”

Cambridge is one of the most dynamic technology clusters in the world, with 54,000 people employed by over 1,500 high-tech companies, a dozen of which have achieved a valuation of over $1 billion. These companies operate across a wide range of fields, from life sciences, to engineering, computer science and the humanities, reflecting the breadth of research carried out at the University.

CIC’s management team is led by Peter Keen, a leading entrepreneur and co-founder of Merlin Biosciences. The board of CIC is led by Edward Benthall, a former partner at Charterhouse Capital Partners; and includes Mike Muller, Chief Technology Officer of ARM and Cambridge Enterprise Chief Executive, Dr Tony Raven.

CIC will also benefit from the advice of a world-class academic and business panel which includes Hermann Hauser, Warren East, Sir Greg Winter, Professor Sir Richard Friend and Jonathan Milner.