LONDON Design and development group Cambridge Consultants is reactivating its spin-out business after a gap of about four years. It hopes to have a new venture fund running by the summer and the first new funded company by early next year.
“We have a short-list of three potential investment partners and will choose one within a few months. We envisage the fund will be between $5 million to $15 million,” Patrick Pordage, director of marketing communication at Cambridge Consultants told EE Times .
The fund will invest exclusively in ventures under development at Cambridge Consultants (Cambridge, England) and the target is to create one spin-out every two years. The firm is involved in projects covering wireless technologies, radar, electronics, drug delivery and diagnostics.
Cambridge Consultants has created over twenty new ventures in the past twenty five years, several of which have gone on to achieve listing on the London Stock Exchange, such as Bluetooth chip specialist CSR, Domino and Xaar.
Other successful spin-offs include Alphamosaic and Inca, who were subsequently acquired by Broadcom for $123 million and Dainippon Screen for Euro 43.8 million, respectively.
“We have created over 15 millionaires in the local community since we started,” said Pordage.
The company stopped its ventures activity in 2002. “The market has changed significantly and is really buoyant and positive now. Companies like us are generally first into and out of a recession, and we felt the time was right to re-enter the venture activity,” said Pordage.
Spin-outs from Cambridge Consultants collectively employ almost 3,000 people, many of whom are still headquartered in the Cambridge area.
Ray Edgson, Ventures Director at Cambridge Consultants, commented, "We learnt a great deal about creating new ventures in the late 90’s and early part of this decade, including the effects that creating spin-outs have on a business of our size. Venturing can be a very disruptive process, however, we believe that by taking a controlled approach to this segment of our business model we can bring significant benefit to our clients, our staff and our business. At the same time we are able to generate significant return on investment."