Future Fund: Breakthrough is a £375m 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 £30m, Future Fund: Breakthrough is addressing the later stage equity finance gap faced by innovative UK companies.
Future Fund: Breakthrough was launched in July 2021 by British Patient Capital, a commercial subsidiary of the British Business Bank.
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.
- The UK’s most active late-stage investor in Life Sciences and Deeptech: Since it began investing in November 2021, Future Fund: Breakthrough has invested in 16 UK companies at growth-stage funding rounds, more than any other UK investor.
- Over £100m committed to innovative UK companies: As of July 2023, Future Fund: Breakthrough has committed £111m to nine 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. As of August 2023, private sector investors have committed £724m 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 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.
total funding raised by UK biotechs in 2022, compared to $51bn raised by US biotechs
of UK VC deals were in R&D-intensive industries (including Life Sciences) over 2019-2021, which is the lowest percentage out of 7 comparator countries
more US Deeptech companies raised funding rounds of more than £30m vs UK comparators in 2022
of investors in UK growth stage Life Sciences and Deeptech deals in 2022 were from the UK
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.
As at August 2023, British Patient Capital has invested in 16 stand-out UK Life Sciences and Deeptech companies through the Future Fund: Breakthrough programme.
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 £30m, as a co-investor in partnership with the private sector.
Committed to 16 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 16 UK companies
Of portfolio companies led by female or Ethnic Minority CEOs (compared to market average of 17% in Life Sciences and >10% in Deeptech)
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 Porsche, In-Q-Tel, Pfizer, and Sanofi, as well as globally recognised top tier financial investors such as Molten, Atomico, Northpond, SV Health Investors and Syncona.
This demonstrates that UK companies are attracting funding from investors with a broad range of interests. However, 63% (10) of Future Fund: Breakthrough’s investments have had investment from the USA, with 35% (7) of the investments led or co-led by a US firm, 35% (7) led or co-led by a European firm and 10% (2) led or co-led by an Asian firm. Only four (20%) 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 (August 2023)
Developing a new class of antibodies to treat solid tumour cancers.
Developing first-of-its-kind cancer therapies which illuminate tumours for the immune system.
Unravelling the microbiome with advanced computational techniques to develop live bacterial therapeutics for conditions such as cancer and inflammatory bowel disease.
Decoding the ‘dark genome’ to discover new ways to treat disease.
Pioneering new techniques to develop small molecule medicines against ‘undruggable’ targets to treat conditions in areas of high unmet clinical need.
A healthtech platform allowing surgeons to virtually ‘scrub-in’ to any operating theatre.
AI-enabled medical image analysis to deliver advanced whole organ biopsies to help doctors make better decisions and improve patient outcomes.
Developing therapies for serious medical conditions driven by over activity of the immune system.
Developing breakthrough regenerative treatments for ocular diseases.
Deeptech Portfolio (August 2023)
Developing automation software for the manufacturing sector.
Developing immersion cooling solutions for data centres and other IT infrastructure.
Oxford Quantum Circuits
Building quantum computers to enable life-changing discoveries.
Delivering commercial-quality, graphene-based electronic devices.
Designing and producing flexible integrated circuits.
Developing quantum computers on silicon chips made using established semiconductor manufacturing processes.
Developing hand tracking and mid-air haptic technologies that allow users to engage with the digital world without touching surfaces.
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 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.”
Case Study: Microbiotica
Microbiotica has developed technology which uses the body’s trillions of resident bacteria – known as the microbiome – to discover and develop therapeutic medicines and biomarkers for a range of disorders and diseases. The company’s current areas of focus are cancer immunotherapy and ulcerative colitis.
British Patient Capital invested in Microbiotica in 2022 through the Future Fund: Breakthrough programme, as part of a £50m Series B funding round led by Flerie Invest and Tencent.
Microbiotica’s former CEO Mike Romanos said: “It is no exaggeration to say that the early commitment from Future Fund: Breakthrough was absolutely critical to pulling together a syndicate for this essential fundraise. After that we were able to bring in Tencent and Flerie to complete a major round. Without BPC this would not have happened.”
Get in touch
If you would like to meet to discuss the British Business Bank’s work backing innovation and breaking down barriers to small business finance, please contact BBBPublicAffairs@british-business-bank.co.uk.
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.