MTI raises £32m

UK venture firm MTI has reached a first close on University of Manchester spin-out vehicle UMIP Premier Fund, raising £32m of a final target of £50m.

The fund will have first approval of any investment opportunities generated by the university’s technology research, which has already produced companies like Renovo, a wound treatment business, which floated on the London Stock Exchange in April 2006 following investment from the likes of Atlas Ventures and BioVeda Capital and currently valued at £300m, almost twice the IPO valuation.

The spin-outs will be managed by the university’s intellectual property agency, UMIP, which will handles the early stage proof-of-principle awards. The fund will provide late seed funding of between £500,000 and £2m per spin-out, with the option of investing up to 20% in deals outside of the University of Manchester.

UMIP Premier Fund has received the support of a number of UK and European investors, including the EIF (European Investment Fund), NESTA and the Co-operative Insurance Society.

Ernie Richardson, Managing Partner at MTI, said: “We have seen evidence of some incredible ideas within the research departments of The University of Manchester. This fund will enable those researchers to gain access to the finance and business skills to turn their ideas into real businesses, and generate substantial value – what could be more exciting? The support of our investors, like EIF, has enabled us to create the biggest such fund in Europe.”