Oxford Tech Cluster set for £1bn funding boost

Number of recent success stories from the city sees investment in local tech start-ups soar.

Start-up and high-growth technology businesses in Oxford are in line to receive up to £1bn in new funding in 2015, according to Oxford Capital managing partner David Mott.

The companies, known collectively as the Oxford Tech Cluster, make up a concentrated local group of entrepreneurs, high-tech firms and researchers based in and around the science parks and universities of the city.

A wave of success stories from the city – including Circassia, Oxford Immunotec, Natural Motion and Arieso – have recently been acquired or floated in London and New York and have a combined value in excess of £1bn.

Subsequently local investors are in a good position to invest in the next generation of technology start-ups. There is a large investor community in the city that fuels the university spin-outs and highly-skilled entrepreneurs the city regularly houses. They include: Oxford Capital, Oxford Sciences Innovations, IP Group, Woodford Investment Management, Parkwalk, Mercia, and OSEM.

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Between them these houses have raised £1.4bn in the past 12 months alone. Mott said these funds will go a long way to supporting the tech scene in the area. While it is known for its strong history in life sciences, he explains there are also big advances being made in “energy, software and advanced engineering” among other areas.

“Increasingly, companies in the Oxford Cluster are attracting international capital from the US, Europe or Asia. Green Biologics, a specialty chemicals business is backed by the Swire Group, an Asian conglomerate, as well as venture capital investors Sofinnova Ventures and Oxford Capital,” he explained.

The top names from the area come together at Venturefest Oxford 2015 on Wednesday 8 July. The event, at the Said Business School, will include a debate in how the funding that has been attracted should now be distributed.

Mott said the “wall of new investment capital” is set to be of huge benefit for Oxford.

“A virtuous circle is developing as successful companies attract both talent and funding. As these companies grow in size and value, they foster new generations of ambitious entrepreneurs and innovators who in turn will launch the next generation of businesses,” he continued.

“Companies such as Oxford Nanopore, Oxitec, Oxford Pharmascience and Oxford PV have already received significant funding and are emerging as leaders in their markets.”

Further reading: 12 of the most exciting tech companies in Oxford

Praseeda Nair

Praseeda Nair

Praseeda was Editor for GrowthBusiness.co.uk from 2016 to 2018.

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Early Stage Funding