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Future Fund Breakthrough – Factsheet

Future Fund: Breakthrough was launched in July 2021 by British Patient Capital, a commercial subsidiary of the British Business Bank. Future Fund: Breakthrough is a £425m fund investing directly into growth stage, R&D-intensive companies in Life Sciences and Deeptech in the UK. By investing alongside private investors in rounds above £20m, Future Fund: Breakthrough is addressing the later stage equity finance gap faced by innovative UK companies.

gif lady sitting at a desk with a microscope

Future Fund: Breakthrough draws on British Patient Capital’s strong track record, established network of relationships, and experienced investment team to help ensure innovative UK Life Sciences and Deeptech companies have the patient capital they need to fulfil their potential.

  • One of the UK’s most active investors in Life Sciences and Deeptech: Since it began investing in November 2021, Future Fund: Breakthrough has invested in 18 UK companies at growth-stage funding rounds, more than any other UK investor.
  • Over £100m committed to innovative UK companies: Across new investments and follow on, Future Fund: Breakthrough deployed £134m to eleven Life Sciences companies and seven Deeptech companies.
  • Catalysing private sector investment: Future Fund: Breakthrough is achieving a ‘multiplier effect’, crowding in additional private sector capital into scaling Life Sciences and Deeptech companies in the UK. Private sector investors have committed £863m alongside the funding from Future Fund: Breakthrough.
  • Targeting strategically important sectors for UK growth: Future Fund: Breakthrough is focused on backing innovative companies in critically important sectors for the UK’s economic future, including quantum computing, semiconductors, climate tech, and novel therapeutics.

The Challenge

The UK is home to world class scientific research and high potential Life Sciences and Deeptech companies. As such, these are important sectors for UK venture capital (VC) investment. Despite this, UK Life Sciences and Deeptech companies raise significantly less funding than their US counterparts, and are often reliant on overseas investors for growth funding.

The funding shortfall is particularly acute for British Life Sciences and Deeptech companies in their growth stage, where there are fewer UK investors leading and participating in funding rounds. Across 2011-2021, companies that received overseas investment were more likely to have exited abroad, representing significant unrealised economic potential for the UK.

Facts and Figures


VC investment in UK Life Sciences companies in 2022, compared to £47.0bn raised by US companies.¹


more late stage VC investment in the US than the UK, on a GDP-adjusted basis during 2019-2021.²


more Deeptech and R&D intensive VC investment in the US than the UK, on a GDP-adjusted basis during 2019-2021.³ 


of global VC investment in Deeptech and R&D intensive sectors during 2021-2023 was in the UK.⁴

What we are doing

How Future Fund: Breakthrough invests

British Patient Capital’s nine-person direct investment team aims to identify and support companies that have the potential to scale breakthrough technologies internationally all from a core of R&D carried out in the UK.

To be eligible for investment, companies must be registered in the UK, with a meaningful proportion of management and the majority of R&D taking place in the UK. British Patient Capital invests between £5m and £10m into funding rounds of at least £20m, as a co-investor in partnership with the private sector.


Committed to 18 UK Life Sciences and Deeptech companies from Future Fund: Breakthrough.


Average initial commitment from BPC.


Of co-investment from the private sector alongside BPC into these 18 UK companies.


Of portfolio companies are led by female or Ethnic Minority CEOs (compared to a market average of 17% in Life Sciences and = <10% in Deeptech).

The impact of Future Fund: Breakthrough

In 2023, the British Business Bank commissioned an independent evaluation undertaken by Ipsos to provide a process and early impact evaluation of the Future Fund: Breakthrough programme. The evaluation found that there is a clear market need for Future Fund: Breakthrough and the programme’s design is broadly appropriate given its objectives. However, it is too early in the programme to measure the overall impact of the funding deployed so far.


Recipient firms highlighted increasing the number of staff employed or hiring individuals to fill key positions to expedite growth plans.


Recipient firms stated that Future Fund: Breakthrough funding has or will positively impact their R&D activities.


of the Future Fund: Breakthrough Deeptech portfolio companies sit within one sub-sector, Future of Computing, whilst 44% of Life Sciences firms are categorised as Platform Therapeutic companies.


Future Fund: Breakthrough median round size in Deeptech compared to £21.2 media round size in Deeptech for the wider market.


The Future Fund: Breakthrough portfolio demonstrates the breadth and calibre of opportunities in the market for growth stage investors in the UK. British Patient Capital has supported these companies alongside investment from 111 leading Life Sciences and Deeptech investors globally, including strategic corporate investors such as PorscheIn-Q-TelPfizer, and Sanofi, as well as globally recognised top tier financial investors such as MoltenAtomicoNorthpondSV Health Investors and Syncona.

This demonstrates that UK companies are attracting funding from investors with a broad range of interests. However, 72% (13) of Future Fund: Breakthrough’s investments have had investment from the USA, with 44% (8) of the investments led or co-led by a US firm, 44% (8) led or co-led by a European firm and 17% (3) led or co-led by an Asian firm. Only four (22%) of investments have been co-led by UK investors to date.

Future Fund: Breakthrough has been well-received by the market. British Patient Capital supports companies with its ability to provide domestic, stable capital with long-term investment horizons, and a shared commitment to their ambitions to build global companies.

BPC’s involvement was critical to our ability to provide a credible and ultimately deal winning term sheet to lead a high-quality international syndicate. The Future Fund: Breakthrough programme was incepted precisely for deals like this and proved its worth. Shahzad Malik General Partner, Advent Life Sciences, on co-investing with Future Fund: Breakthrough in Proximie’s $80m Series C round

Life Sciences Portfolio

Logo Curve Therapeutics
Logo Epsilogen
Grey Wolf Therapeutics logo
Microbiotica Logo
Nucleome Therapeutics Logo
OMass Therapeutics Logo
Logo Phagenesis
Perspectum Logo

Deeptech Portfolio

Cloud NC Logo
Logo - Iceotope
Oxford Quantum Circuits Logo
Paragraf Logo
Pragmatic Logo
Logo Proximie
Quantum Motion Logo
Quell Logo
Tenpoint Therapeutics logo
Ultraleap Logo

Case Study: Perspectum

Perspectum offers machine-learning enabled, medical image analysis to deliver advanced whole organ digital biopsy support to help doctors make better decisions, personalise care for patients and ensure better outcomes.

British Patient Capital invested in Perspectum in 2022 through the Future Fund: Breakthrough programme, as part of a £31m Series C funding round.

Perspectum CEP, Dr Rajarshi Banerjee said: "We are excited to have British Patient Capital join our mission to create safer and more accurate imaging technologies that will help clinicians shorten patients’ diagnostic and treatment journeys. This new funding will help us to continue innovating new products that will make healthcare safer by providing non-invasive alternatives to biopsy, totally changing how and when we can see and treat many diseases.”

Case Study: Quantum Motion

Quantum Motion Technologies (QMT) is a leading quantum technologies company spun-out of the University of Oxford. They are developing silicon-spin based quantum computing hardware to advance the development of quantum computers.

Quantum computers possess unrivalled computational power, enabling solutions to complex challenges beyond the reach of current supercomputers. It is expected that quantum computing will have a transformative impact across industries including finance, drug discovery and climate technologies.

In 2023, British Patient Capital invested, via the Future Fund: Breakthrough programme in QMT’s £40m Series B to develop their technology.

QMTs CEO, James Palles-Dimmock said: “A useful quantum computer needs millions of qubits. Quantum Motion is building not just qubits but all the control elements required to deliver a quantum processor fabricated using the same process that’s used to make the billions of transistors in the chip in your phone. With BPC’s financial backing we have demonstrated world-leading results in the control and readout of qubits based on standard transistors.”

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About the British Business Bank and British Patient Capital

The British Business Bank is the UK's economic development bank. Our mission is to drive sustainable growth and prosperity across the UK, and to enable the transition to a net zero economy, by supporting access to finance for smaller businesses. The British Business Bank has a strategic objective to back innovation, by ensuring the UK’s most innovative businesses, including Life Sciences and deep tech companies, can access the capital they need to start and scale.

Our commercial subsidiary British Patient Capital was established in 2018. Its mission is to enable long-term investment in innovative companies across the UK led by ambitious entrepreneurs who want to build successful, world-class businesses. It invests on fully commercial terms alongside private sector investors into venture and growth capital funds, as well as directly into promising, R&D-intensive businesses, to generate commercial returns and crowd in private capital.

Publication date: April 2024