Cambridge Innovation Capital has raised its largest round of funding to date as the venture investor seeks to capitalize on the UK city’s growing life sciences and technology economy.
CIC – which benefits from a unique contract with Cambridge University – has raised £ 225mn to invest in early start-ups operating in areas ranging from cell therapies to quantum computers, bringing it to $ 1 billion in assets under management.
Andrew Williamson, managing partner, said Cambridge reached a concentration of research and innovation that he had only seen previously when working in Silicon Valley.
“Every dinner party you go to, every parent you meet at a kids’ football game, they work on innovation or entrepreneurship or commercialization,” he said. “It has reached the critical mass where it lives by itself.”
Williamson added that the missing piece until recently had been large companies to provide a talent base and opportunities for partnership. But Cambridge’s expertise in artificial intelligence, antibodies, and cell and gene therapies had now attracted both Big Tech and Big Pharma.