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British Patient Capital invests £30 million in university spinout backer Northern Gritstone

Press release 30 March 2023

British Patient Capital has made a £30 million investment into Northern Gritstone Limited, the investment company focused on university spinouts and R&D-intensive businesses across the North of England.

The investment, which follows Northern Gritstone’s raise of £215m announced last year, sits alongside an investor base that includes M&G and Greater Manchester Pension Fund, with other institutional investors expected to follow later this year.

With a focus on spinouts from their partners at the universities of Leeds, Manchester and Sheffield, alongside other local science and technology start-ups, Northern Gritstone supports the commercialisation of the world-class research and innovation originating from these institutions. It aims to catalyse the nascent venture ecosystems around these communities, drawing in further external capital to drive their growth. While Northern Gritstone will typically invest at pre-seed and seed stage, as a long term investor, it has the capability to invest throughout the lifecycle, and into more established businesses at the later stage.

The UK’s universities are recognised as a hub for break-through research and development. Scaling these businesses across the whole of the UK is critical, as is energising the venture capital ecosystem in the North of England. Northern Gritstone’s mission aligns with British Patient Capital’s aim to provide the patient capital required to enable the world-class businesses of the future to thrive and become players on the global stage. We are excited to work with them on driving this vision forward. Catherine Lewis La Torre CEO, British Patient Capital

Investments by British Patient Capital were found to be a driving force for innovation behind scale up Britain by a recent independent evaluation of BPC. 11% of BPC-backed companies are academic spinouts compared to just 2% of all equity-backed companies, turning cutting-edge research into real-world products.

This significant investment from British Patient Capital marks a tremendous achievement for Northern Gritstone as we continue to attract many of the investment world’s most significant players which share our ethos, values and vision as Northern Gritstone shareholders.

British Patient Capital’s investment is not only a testament to the power of Northern Gritstone’s mission to support science-led spin-outs in the North of England and an endorsement of our ‘profit with purpose’ investment philosophy, but will also strengthen our ability to deliver against these ambitions.

Having already begun making investments in some of the region’s most exciting and innovative businesses, we look forward to growing our portfolio in the year ahead as we continue to work towards our ultimate goal of developing a northern hub of innovation in technology and science.

Duncan Johnson Chief Executive, Northern Gritstone

Further Information

Notes to editors

About British Patient Capital

British Patient Capital Limited is a wholly owned commercial subsidiary of British Business Bank plc, the UK government’s economic development bank. Its mission is to enable long-term investment in innovative firms led by ambitious entrepreneurs who want to build large-scale businesses. Launched in June 2018, British Patient Capital has more than £3bn of assets under management, investing in venture and venture growth capital to support high growth potential innovative UK businesses in accessing the long-term financing they require to scale up. Find out more about British Patient Capital.

British Business Bank plc and its subsidiary entities are not banking institutions and do not operate as such. They are not authorised or regulated by the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) or the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). A complete legal structure chart for British Business Bank plc and its subsidiaries can be found on the British Business Bank plc website.

British Patient Capital makes commitments and invests on its own behalf and on behalf of third-party investors whose investments British Patient Capital manages.

The transaction described above does not constitute or imply any endorsement, warranty or recommendation by the UK government, the British Business Bank plc, its subsidiaries or any other party in respect of Northern Gritstone or its products or services.

About Northern Gritstone

Northern Gritstone is a ground-breaking new investment company based in the north of England, founded by the Universities of Leeds, Manchester and Sheffield, three of the UK’s leading educational research establishments.

It intends to be one of the largest investors into academic spin-outs and IP-rich businesses in the UK dedicated to financing companies in some of the UK’s fastest growing sectors such as advanced materials, energy, health technology and cognitive computation.