The A-Z of Disruption: F is for funding

F is for funding in our A-Z of disruption, and this week we shine the spotlight on the investment funds backing brilliant tech businesses

There are a lot of factors that help disruptive businesses succeed, one of which is access to funding. Entrepreneurs need help and support of investors to turn brilliant ideas into high-growth tech companies that can compete on the global stage.

In the East of England we’re fortunate to have a host of investment funds which provide financial support to growing businesses, particularly focused around the Cambridge cluster.

Here are four funds disruptive businesses can call upon to help back their ideas.

The A-Z of disruption brings together thought leaders from East Anglia to answer questions on topics relevant to disruptive companies. It accompanies The Disruptors, our new video series showcasing interesting businesses from around the region.

Find out more about The Disruptors here.

Cambridge Innovation Capital

CMR Surgical

As the preferred investment partner for Cambridge University, CIC is uniquely placed to work with University spin-outs, and specialises in high-growth technology and healthcare businesses. It has raised £125 million from investors to date, and earlier this year announced it had raised a further £150m to invest in a new generation of businesses.

“We are delighted by the support CIC has received from our existing shareholders and new investors in this financing round. The additional capital will enable us to fund our existing portfolio companies and invest in promising new companies in the Cambridge ecosystem,” said the fund’s then CEO Victor Christou

Portfolio includes: CMR Surgical (pictured) Origami EnergySwim

Anglia Capital Group

Iceni Diagnostics

Based in Norfolk and Suffolk, Anglia Capital is a group of Angel Investors which invest in start-ups and early growth-stage businesses with innovative and potentially disruptive technology at their core.

The fund’s portfolio covers everything from life sciences to digital and low carbon automotive technology

Portfolio includes: Iceni Diagnostics (pictured) RainbirdCambridge Oncometrix

Amadeus Capital Partners

Graphcore's Colossus IPU

Amadeus invests in technology and entrepreneurs to help them fulfill their potential and make a global impact. The fund was founded by Hermann Hauser, the legendary Cambridge entrepreneur behind companies including Acorn Computers and Arm who knows a thing or two about disruptive technology.

In recent years Amadeus has focused on the applications of artificial intelligence in a variety of industry sectors, including healthcare and automotive. It is invested in AI companies such as Graphcore, the UK’s latest tech unicorn which is opening a development centre in Cambridge.

Portfolio includes: Five AIImprobableGraphcore (pictured)

The East of England private equity fund

Foresight Group has launched the new East of England fund

A new addition to the funding landscape, the East of England private equity fund caters for businesses in Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire.

Foresight Group is administering the fund, which is aiming to invest up to £5 million into established companies with a view to assisting management with their growth ambitions.

It will invest across a broad range of sectors, across the full range of transaction types including buy-outs and equity release, always with the objective of supporting management with their growth ambitions for the business. It is cornerstoned by cash from the Cambridgeshire Pension Fund.

Russell Healey, partner and head of private equity at Foresight, said: “The East of England has a large number of companies in an exciting range of sectors including life sciences, technology, media and engineering, but it has traditionally attracted relatively low levels of private equity investment.

“We are delighted to be working with the Cambridgeshire Pension Fund to provide a permanent, patient pool of capital, which targets strong returns, and around which the regional business community can make long-term plans. We look forward to backing entrepreneurs in the region and working with them to grow their businesses.”

We look forward to hearing about its first investments.