– TTP Ventures reaches innovative close

TTP Ventures, the venture capital arm of TTP Group, the Cambridge-based innovation and technology company, has announced a final closing of its maiden venture fund of GBP30 million ($49.4 million). The vehicle was launched last spring with the Dutch venture group NPM Capital as its cornerstone investor. TTP Ventures also succeeded in drawing substantial support from two leading corporate venturers, The Boeing Company and Siemens Venture Capital. David Connell reveals that two UK pension funds, which he describes as very experienced venture capital investors’, signed up for the fund. TTP Group will co-invest directly alongside the fund in a pre-set ratio.

The TTP Venture Fund, which will focus principally on UK companies but will also invest selectively in continental Europe, has a wider focus than most of the new venture funds in the market at present. Its spectrum of interest will reflect the range of in-house expertise within TTP Group, encompassing IT and telecommunications, medical equipment, instrumentation, new materials and drug discovery technology. Connell observes that the fund’s investees will be positioned to benefit from access both to TTP Group’s skills and to its wide network of potential purchasers of their technologies.

The fund is slated to make around 20 investments of GBP2 million to GBP2.5 million ($3.3 million to $4.2 million) apiece. The fund has backed three companies to date. The first was Element-14, a developer of digital signal processing semiconductors, where TTP Ventures invested in conjunction with Atlas Venture and Bessemer. Visual Thinking International, which designed the SIMUL8 workflow simulation software, has so far received two tranches of funding from TTP Ventures and Scottish Equity Partners.

The fund’s most recent investment, closed in December, was in Ashby BioSystems, which supplies cellular support material for applications including vaccine manufacture, vascular grafts and liver-assist devices. TTP Ventures led the investment in Ashby, bringing in Cambridge Research & Innovation Ltd as a co-investor.

The TTP Ventures management team of David Connell and Christopher van Essen will be joined by two further executives in the coming months.