A venture capital fund established by the University of Cambridge could go public within the next 18 months, The Financial Times (FT) reports.
Cambridge Innovation Capital (CIC), founded by Cambridge University in 2013 to fund startups that are spun out of the university’s academic labs and other pockets of Cambridge, announced on Friday that it had raised a £75 million fund ahead of the planned flotation.
The new funding came from Winton Ventures, the Oman Investment Fund, and other institutional investors and existing shareholders .The fresh influx of capital means that CIC, which invests between £2 million and £5 million, reportedly has a total of £95 million to invest within the next two or three years.
Victor Christou, CIC’s chief executive, told the FT: “Cambridge is well provided with seed capital funding and the university has a great record in getting businesses off the ground but it needed a better structure for sustained follow-on funding — which we can provide.
“Our intention is to list the business in 12 to 18 months,” he said, adding that it will “depend on market conditions.” CIC set up with a £50 million fund with chip designer ARM and hedge fund Landsdowne Partners contributing to a pot of money that CIC had already sourced from its own funds.
The VC firm, which counts Cambridge University as its biggest shareholder, has ploughed £33 million into 13 Cambridge startups (university and non-university) since it was born, according to the FT.
The Cambridge technology cluster is one of the biggest and most successful in the UK and indeed Europe. The city has developed something of a reputation for creating deeply technical businesses that are highly desirable in among US tech giants, with Twitter, Apple, and Amazon all buying startups from the region.
Elsewhere, Imperial Innovations is doing a similar job over at Imperial College London — another UK university renowned for its technical prowess. Imperial Innovations went public in 2006.