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Cambridge Innovation Capital has a further £150million to invest in region


By Paul Brackley


Cambridge Innovation Capital (CIC) has completed a funding round of £150million, which it will use to support its portfolio of 25 companies and invest in new opportunities across the Cambridge ecosystem.

Victor Christou, CIC CEO. (8167424)
Victor Christou, CIC CEO. (8167424)

The financing is one of the largest private financing rounds in Europe this year and more than doubles the amount raised by the venture capital investor to £275million.

CIC focuses on intellectual property-rich technology and life science businesses in the Cambridge region and is the preferred investor for the University of Cambridge.

The cornerstone investment was contributed by the university and by Cambridge University Endowment Fund, and also included a geographically diverse range of new institutional and strategic investors, which have not been named.

Victor Christou, CEO of CIC, said: “The Cambridge ecosystem holds one of the richest seams of scientific knowledge and technological innovation in the world.

"Since our inception in 2013, CIC has invested over £125 million in IP-rich technology and life science companies among which are leaders in fields as diverse as surgical robotics, flexible electronics, microbiome science, genomic diagnosis and edge intelligence and AI decision making software.

The Cambridge Innovation Capital team (8166047)
The Cambridge Innovation Capital team (8166047)

“We are delighted by the support CIC has received from our existing shareholders and new investors in this financing round. The additional capital will enable us to fund our existing portfolio companies and invest in promising new companies in the Cambridge ecosystem. Our relationship with the University of Cambridge, including our privileged position as a preferred investor for the university, goes from strength to strength. We look forward to continuing to work with both the university and our wider network in the Cambridge area.”

Professor Stephen Toope, vice chancellor of the University of Cambridge, added: “CIC has grown since its launch to become a key part of the Cambridge ecosystem. It has provided support and investment to a portfolio of leading-edge businesses, each of which has the potential to substantially improve people’s lives. The University is delighted with what CIC has achieved to date and so has decided to participate in this funding round. We look forward to continuing our close relationship with the CIC team.”

CIC's impressive portfolio includes some stellar names, such as CMR Surgical, PROWLER.io, Fluidic Analytics, Audio Analytic and Bicycle Therapeutics.

A number of the portfolio companies have achieved significant milestones in the first quarter of 2019, including liquid biopsy firm Inivata, which achieved Medicare reimbursement coverage for its InVisionFirst-Lung test in the United States in certain treatment decisions relating to advanced non-small cell lung cancer. CIC participated in Inivata's recently completed £40million Series B fundraise to enable commercialisation of InVisionFirst-Lung and to accelerate the development of the InVision platform into new indications.

Victor Christou, CIC CEO, left, with Tom Blake, Imagen CEO
Victor Christou, CIC CEO, left, with Tom Blake, Imagen CEO

Other portfolio companies reaching milestones this quarter include:

· PragmatIC, the ultra-low-cost flexible electronics specialist on Cambridge Science Park, launched the first products in its ConnectIC family and raised more than £13million of additional funds, enabling the company to increase production of its flexible integrated circuits.

· Imagen, a software as a service video management platform business, raised £6.5million in a Series B round to expand its global operations, specifically in the US and European markets.

· GeoSpock, the Cambridge-based extreme-scale spatial big data integration company, raised £12million to develop key client accounts, particularly in the strategic markets of Singapore and Japan and launched its ground-breaking Spatial Big Data Platform enabling customers to reveal hidden data insights and drive game-changing business decisions.

CIC participated in all of these funding rounds. And with another £150million of capital available for CIC to invest, other innovative technology and life science companies in the Cambridge region could be set to follow suit.

Look out for an interview with Victor Christou in the Cambridge Independent, available from April 3.



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