Recent reports have seen some concerns that the UK is falling behind when it comes to leading the way in tech. For generations the UK have been innovators of the tech industry, from the wind-up radio to the world wide web, the UK have been founders in some of the key technologies we use. However, more recently we have seen less funding and results coming to the UK deep tech industry than other countries.
However, in the past few months, the UK has seen dedicated funding coming from two investors which total $140 million for deep tech investments in the UK.
In June Octopus Investments, part of the Octopus group, launched its intention to raise £40 million to back pre-seed deep tech starts across the UK and Europe.
Their plan is to raise capital from a range of institutions and give promising deep tech start-ups the funds and support they need to bring their breakthrough technologies to market.
Octopus will be looking to hubs and research centres to support deep tech in moving out from the lab and into the market. General Partner at Octopus Investments, Zoe Reich commented: “We’re excited to be launching a fund that tackles one of the greatest challenges of deep tech commercialisation – customer discovery – and underwrite the technology validation pathway, while providing founders with meaningful capital to hit value inflection points.”
Furthermore, September saw the announcement that SCVC, an early-stage Bristol-based VC announced the first close of its second fund with a target of $100 million. SCVC, who primarily invest in biotech and quantum tech will be using the fund will be used to help build the team's core strategy and expertise while also investing between 500k to 3 million at pre-seed and seeded funding rounds. SCVC have also shared plans to provide follow on funding of Series A ticket up to $7 million for top-performing companies.
SCVC’s Managing Partner and Co-Founder Harry Destecroix commented: “Our goal has been to build the venture firm we wished we had as founders. We give deep tech start-ups access to bespoke technical and business expertise, as well as capital. Our portfolio is united by category-defining innovation driven by world-class founders, and the new fund allows us to double down on our mission and enable more scientists to become founders and turn their discoveries into inventions.”
The creation of more funds to back deep tech start-ups in the UK is an exciting prospect that should see in the coming years even more innovation breaking through to market. Dedicated investors such as Octopus and SCVC demonstrate the belief and strength of opportunity within the UK deep tech market, and hopefully, will see more investments follow suit too.