University of Oxford: Oxford Science Enterprises raises £250 million to support University innovations

Oxford Science Enterprises (OSE), the independent investment company created to found, fund and build transformational businesses based on University research, has raised a further £250 million ($300 million) in funding. This brings the total amount raised by OSE to more than £850 million (>$1 billion) since inception in 2015.

These funds significantly deepen OSE’s capital pool and enable the Company to identify further exceptional science from the University, providing initial funding, hands-on support and access to expert networks and start-up infrastructure, to create new spinouts across Life Sciences, Health Tech and Deep Tech from across Oxford’s academic Divisions.

Professor Chas Bountra, Pro-Vice Chancellor for Innovation at the University of Oxford, said:

‘During the pandemic, Oxford researchers delivered a lifesaving vaccine in record time at no profit, low-cost ventilators and mass, rapid testing.

‘With the support of our colleagues at Oxford Science Enterprises, we are already creating more new companies than any other university in the UK. These additional funds will allow us to create many more, but importantly allow us to scale these companies quickly with much larger investments. In partnership with our alumni, industry, government, philanthropy, peer institutions and charity networks all over the world we are determined to do everything possible to accelerate new therapies, enable earlier diagnoses of disease, mitigate the climate emergency and tackle social inequality.’

In addition to creating new spinouts, OSE will continue to support its existing and maturing portfolio, deploying increasingly large amounts of capital in later-stage funding rounds. Access to scale-up funding is critical to the success of the University’s spinout companies, enabling the businesses to advance through key development milestones. This, in turn, maximises their chances of success in providing returns to academics, departments and the University, and creating global societal and economic impact based on University research which changes lives for the better.

Alexis Dormandy, Chief Executive Officer at Oxford Science Enterprises, said:

‘We are delighted to successfully complete this new fundraising. Attracting such high quality new and existing global investors reflects their enthusiasm for the strength of Oxford’s science and our plans to drive positive impact from it.

‘This fundraise comes at an exciting and pivotal time for OSE. We have built a talented team and proved our model of translating ground-breaking science into a diverse portfolio of transformational businesses. 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 substantial progress; with our ongoing efforts, and the support of our shareholders, we look forward to helping them achieve their important goals.’

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

Since the University’s first spinout in 1957, Oxford has created over 230 spinout companies – over half of them since OSE’s founding in 2015. OSE has itself invested in over 80 spinout companies, committing £500m itself and attracting over £1bn in co-investment.