University of Oxford spinout investor raises £250m

The £250m funding will see Oxford Science Enterprises overtake Cambridge Innovation Capital as the biggest single investor in UK spinouts

Oxford Science Enterprises (OSE), an investment company backing University of Oxford spinouts, has raised £250m in funding.

This brings the total amount raised by OSE to more than £850m since its inception in 2015 making it the biggest spinout investor of its kind in the UK.

These funds will further enable the company to identify, provide initial funding for and support spinouts from the university in the life sciences, health tech and deep tech spaces.

In addition, OSE will continue to support its existing portfolio, deploying capital in later-stage funding rounds.

The fundraise involved a group of international investors, with strong participation from existing and new blue-chip investors, sovereign wealth funds, family offices, pension funds and asset managers.

Since 2015, OSE has invested £500m in over 80 companies built on Oxford science. To date, OSE has helped progress 27 companies from seed to Series A and 21 to Series B and beyond, including two IPOs and five trade exits.

In 2021 alone, companies originating from Oxford raised nearly £1.4bn in external funding, which represents over half the amount raised by all UK spinouts in 2021.

OSE takes a 10 per cent stake in the spinouts it invests in.

See also: Investment into university spinouts nearly doubled in 2021

Spinouts backed to date include Vaccitech, which was instrumental in the development of the Oxford/AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine, and Base Genomics, which developed early-stage cancer detection technology and was acquired by Exact Sciences for $410m (£343m) in October 2020.

Alexis Dormandy, OSE’s chief executive officer, said: “This fundraise comes at an exciting and pivotal time for OSE… Our companies are making remarkable breakthroughs from cancer, heart failure and infectious diseases, to climate change, food security and quantum computing.

“Over the next few years, we expect these companies will continue to make important progress; with our ongoing efforts, and the support of our shareholders, we look forward to helping them deliver impact and returns.”

More on spinouts

University spinouts raise £11bn of equity investment over past decade

Dom Walbanke

Fred Mann

Dom is a feature writer for Growth Business and Small Business, focused on matters concerning start-ups and scale-ups. He has also been published in the Independent, FourFourTwo magazine and various lifestyle...

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