Local technology ventures have been handed a massive boost after Cambridge Innovation Capital raised £75 million of new cash to invest in the UK cluster’s cream of innovation.
CIC is a preferred investor for the University of Cambridge and a Cambridge-based investor in technology and healthcare companies. Cambridge technology great ARM Holdings, the official investment body of the Sultanate of Oman and the much-vaunted Woodford Investment Fund are among new investors in the oversubscribed placing.
CIC was founded in 2013 as an initiative by the university to create a local entity able to provide growth capital to promising business ventures arising not only from the university but also the wider Cambridge Cluster, Europe’s largest technology heartland.
CIC provides long term capital to support the sustained growth of investee companies. It has a unique relationship with Cambridge Enterprise, the commercialisation arm of the university, including co-investment opportunities and access to pre-emption rights over companies arising out of the university.
CIC has already established an unrivalled position within the Cambridge cluster. To date, the plc has committed around £33m to 13 companies in the rapidly-growing technology and healthcare sectors.
The new funds raised will be used to provide additional investment to CIC’s current portfolio, to invest in new opportunities created at the University of Cambridge and within the Cambridge Cluster and to expand the CIC team to allow the company to capitalise on its strong inflow of new investment opportunities.
The oversubscribed round was supported by new investors including Woodford Investment Management acting as agent on behalf of certain discretionally managed funds, Winton Ventures, the Oman Investment Fund and other institutional investors and existing shareholders including University of Cambridge Endowment Fund, Lansdowne Partners, ARM and IP Group plc.
CIC is led by a strong and diverse board and management team. Edward Benthall is non-executive chairman and was chair of Cambridge Enterprise Ltd between 2010 and 2014.
CEO Victor Christou has 20 years of experience as both a venture capital investor and as an entrepreneur, founding and forming a spin out within an academic environment. Rob Sprawson, CIC’s CFO, has considerable professional and commercial experience especially in the healthcare, technology and IP commercialisation sectors.
Christou said: “We are delighted by the support we have received in this fundraising. Since the inception of CIC and its initial fundraising in 2013, the company has made significant progress within the Cambridge Cluster, one of the richest seams of scientific and technological innovation in the world.
“This additional capital will enable CIC to continue to support exciting IP-rich companies and we look forward to continuing to work very closely with the University of Cambridge and our network within the Cambridge area.”
Professor Sir Leszek Borysiewicz, vice-chancellor of the University of Cambridge, added: “Over the last three years, CIC has grown and proven itself to be an integral part of the Cambridge ecosystem. The university is delighted to work with CIC as it continues its critical role in providing growth capital and support for the region and the country.”
Numis Securities Limited acted as sole financial adviser, broker and bookrunner in connection with the fundraising.
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