Cambridge Innovation Capital (CIC) has raised £50m to provide long-term equity finance to help companies bridge the so-called ‘valley of death’.
CIC was established with the support of the University of Cambridge to invest in early-stage technology spinouts from the University and the wider Cambridge cluster.
Investors included both institutional and strategic backers, with cornerstone investment from Invesco Perpetual and Lansdowne Partners. Limited partners also include the University of Cambridge Endowment Fund, ARM Holdings and IP Group. The University will also support CIC through its commercialisation office Cambridge Enterprise.
The aim is to help emerging companies in the Cambridge Cluster. With the University at its heart, the region boasts 19 science and business parks and over 1,500 high-tech companies across a wide range of technologies, from life sciences, to engineering and computer science.
The largest of these is smart phone and tablet computing company ARM, which has a long relationship with Cambridge and with the University, sponsoring individuals and initiatives such as Cambridge University Entrepreneurs, the launch of the Judge Business School and activities in the Computer Lab and the Engineering department.
CIC’s management team is led by Peter Keen, an experienced technology investor and formerly co-founder of Merlin Biosciences. The board is led by non-executive chairman Edward Benthall, a former partner at private equity firm Charterhouse Capital Partners; and also includes Mike Muller, co-founder and chief technology officer of ARM, and Cambridge Enterprise chief executive Tony Raven.
CIC will seek to invest in companies across a wide range of technologies, at different stages in their development. Being a permanent capital vehicle, it will invest over a long time horizon and expects some of its investments to take a decade or more to reach maturity. It intends to invest its initial capital over a two to three year timescale, after which it will raise more capital, probably by means of an IPO, according to Benthall.
He said, “Many good companies have to spend too much time fundraising, leaving them with less time to focus on running their business. CIC will work with angel and other long term investors to bring innovative technologies to market and help build world-class businesses.”
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