Oxford Science Enterprises taps USD300m in new funding to back university spin-outs
Oxford Science Enterprises (OSE), the independent investment company created to found, fund, and build transformational businesses through its unique partnership with the University of Oxford, has raised a further GBP250 million (USD300 million) in funding. This brings the total amount raised by OSE to more than GBP850 million (USD1 billion) since inception in 2015.
The company said the latest fundraise involved a diverse group of international investors, with strong participation from existing and new blue-chip investors, sovereign wealth funds, family offices, pension funds, and asset managers.
“These funds significantly deepen OSE’s capital pool and enable the company to identify further exceptional science from the University of Oxford, providing initial funding, hands-on support and access to expert networks and start-up infrastructure, to create new spin-outs across life sciences, health tech and deep tech,” said the firm in a statement.
“In addition, OSE will continue to support its existing and maturing portfolio, deploying increasingly large amounts of capital in later-stage funding rounds. This ability to provide scale-up capital is crucial for OSE to enable its businesses to advance through key development milestones, maximising their chances of success and increasing potential returns and impact.”
Alexis Dormandy, chief executive officer, 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.”
He added: “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 important progress; with our ongoing efforts, and the support of our shareholders, we look forward to helping them deliver impact and returns.”
Since its founding in 2015, OSE has invested in over 80 ambitious companies built on Oxford science, committing GBP500 million itself and attracting over GBP1 billion from blue-chip global co-investors. 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 addition to funding, OSE provides strategic business-building and operational support to its portfolio companies, including access to a global network of entrepreneurs and advisers, and has added over 55,000 square feet of state-of-the-art lab and start-up space.
Among its most notable portfolio companies, OSE was a founding investor in Vaccitech in 2016, enabling the development of its underlying technology through several private financing rounds to its listing on the Nasdaq stock exchange in the US in 2021.
Vaccitech was instrumental in the development of the Oxford/AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine, which has had a significant impact on human health during the pandemic and represents 98 per cent of all vaccines provided by COVAX.