Recapitalisation for fund

University backs start-ups with £6m capital

Pure li-fiEdinburgh university is backing its spin-outs with a £6m recapitalisation of its in-house venture capital fund Old College Capital.

The new capital will take the size of the four-year-old fund to £8m which is used to leverage private sector support from investors interested in high-growth businesses.

It invests an average of £250,000 in each company, and adopts a ‘co-investment model’, working alongside venture capitalists, angel groups and corporate investors. OCC has an independent investment committee and operates on a fully commercial basis.

Hamish Mair, chairman of OCC’s investment committee, said: “External investors have welcomed the fund and take confidence that the university is backing its own companies and sharing the risk.

“OCC’s investment partners can work with a trusted partner with the ability to follow-on its investments and benefit from the University’s in-depth knowledge of our investee businesses.”

The fund has invested £2m into ten student start-ups and academic spin-outs across a broad range of sectors. It has leveraged a further £18m from private sector commercial co-investors.

The university’s director of corporate services, Hugh Edmiston, said:  “The reinvestment demonstrates a continued commitment by the university and its endowment to back growth businesses from the university’s ecosystem by providing essential capital at an exciting and critical point in their development.”

Picture: Pure li-fi

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