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Cambridge Innovation Capital raises £225M to invest in deeptech and life sciences businesses

Cambridge Innovation Capital
Image credits: Cambridge Innovation Capital

Cambridge Innovation Capital (CIC), a venture capital investor focused on deeptech and life sciences businesses have secured £225M ($300M) for its oversubscribed second fund – Fund II.

With Fund II, CIC now manages over £500M, enabling support to its portfolio companies throughout their life cycle, from providing investment capital to operational support.

The Fund II round was participated by a geographically diverse group of 50 institutional and strategic investors, with almost half of the capital raised has come from UK-based investors.

To date, the CIC has invested in 40 deeptech and life sciences companies, with Fund II already having made six investments, including 

  • Riverlane – a quantum computing software provider 
  • Pretzel Therapeutics – a developer of mitochondrial therapeutics
  • Salience Labs- a photonic compute company 
  • Epitopea – a cancer immunotherapeutics company
  • Microbiotica – a player in microbiome-based therapeutics and biomarkers
  • Seldon – machine learning deployment company

Andrew Williamson, Managing Partner of CIC, comments, “Cambridge, UK is one of the fastest-growing science and technology innovation ecosystems in the world. Since our inception, CIC and our co-investors have invested more than £2B in sectors as diverse as robotics, semiconductors, genomics, gene therapy, therapeutics, liquid biopsy, artificial intelligence, and edge computing. We are delighted to launch our new fund and work with a dynamic group of entrepreneurs and investors to capture the full potential within the thriving Cambridge ecosystem.”

Why CIC was founded?

The Cambridge ecosystem holds one of the wealthiest scientific knowledge and technological innovation globally. 

With two universities, multiple leading research institutes, 109 Nobel Prize winners, and R&D departments of over 60 multinational businesses, Cambridge has generated $17B businesses, out of which three have been valued at over $10B. 

Cambridge Innovation Capital (CIC) was established to improve the success rate of businesses originating from the University of Cambridge and the broader Cambridge ecosystem as well as to encourage more academics and entrepreneurs from the area to build businesses.

According to CIC, “Our success in the Cambridge ecosystem is underpinned by our unique relationship with the University and our close collaboration with their commercialisation team, Cambridge Enterprise.”

Backs life sciences and technology companies

Cambridge Innovation Capital backs life sciences and technology companies with an affiliation to Cambridge. 

The VC invests in disruptive, deeptech businesses like artificial intelligence, the internet of things, quantum technologies, autonomous systems, therapeutics, medtech/diagnostics, digital health and genomics/proteomics.

CIC’s first fund portfolio companies include: 

  • CMR Surgical – A medtech company that closed £425M, the largest medtech private funding round in 2021, valuing the company at more than £2B. 
  • Pragmatic Semiconductor – It raised $80M to build its second manufacturing facility in the North of England. 

“The impact of CIC’s support in transitioning innovation and entrepreneurship into global businesses is a source of great pride to our team. Our investments are expected to deliver a significant and positive impact on society. With our support, CMR Surgical has grown rapidly in recent years. Its next-generation Versius robotic system is bringing the benefits of keyhole surgery to patients around the world,” adds Williamson.

In addition to the portfolio companies, CIC has also co-founded two Cambridge-based business accelerators — DeepTech Labs and Start Codon.

With business accelerators, the goal is to support deeptech and life science entrepreneurs develop their commercialisation and technology strategy, bridging the gap between translational research and Series A-ready businesses.

“The increasing connectivity of our network of academics and entrepreneurs means that our businesses are born global, are able to attract global investment and talent, achieving global impact more rapidly than ever before. With Fund II, we are eager to continue our mission of building substantial businesses that bring benefit to Cambridge, the UK and the world,” he concludes.

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