Northern Gritstone has recently announced the final close of its fund at £312m, securing funding commitments from a broad base of institutional and local authority pension fund investors.
The Manchester-based investment firm focuses on supporting university spin-outs and intellectual property-rich businesses in the North of England, aiming to drive job creation and economic growth in the region.
Led by Chief Executive Duncan Johnson, Northern Gritstone’s profit with purpose philosophy has attracted investors such as Lazard Venture and Growth Banking, M&G, Columbia Threadneedle, and Bruntwood, as well as local authority pension funds including Greater Manchester Pension Fund, West Yorkshire Pension Fund, South Yorkshire Pension Fund, and Merseyside Pension Fund.
The funding will be used to support innovative start-ups and scale-up businesses in sectors such as AI, health technology, and advanced materials, as well as to develop the tech and science ecosystem in the North of England.
With a proposition that has seen record numbers of spin-outs and a growing venture ecosystem, Northern Gritstone’s final close of £312m marks a significant milestone for the firm and the Northern venture ecosystem as a whole.
The funding will enable the firm to continue to support academic entrepreneurs and IP-rich businesses, working alongside the universities of Leeds and Sheffield to build an innovation factory for the North.
As momentum builds in the region, Northern Gritstone’s CEO, Duncan Johnson, and Chief Investment Officer, Marion Bernard, are confident that the firm can make a significant contribution to the growth of the Northern tech and science ecosystem.
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Northern Gritstone, an investment business focused on university spin-outs and IP-rich businesses in the North of England, has had an exciting investment journey since its launch in 2021.
The company has recently announced a final close of £312m, with more than £150m of the funding commitments provided by local authority pension funds such as South Yorkshire Pension Fund, West Yorkshire Pension Fund, Greater Manchester Pension Fund, Merseyside Pension Fund, and East Riding Pension Fund.
The first close of the fund was at £215 million, which was achieved in 2022. The funding was raised from institutional investors, high net worth individuals, real estate investors, and pension funds. The investment team of Northern Gritstone is led by Andrew Law, former chairman and CEO of Caxton Associates, and Keith Breslauer, managing director and founder of Patron Capital.
The final close of the fund at £312 million was anchored by investments from local authority pension funds. The fund has also received backing from British Patient Capital, British Business Bank, Lazard Venture and Growth Banking, and other investors. The broad base of investors shows the confidence in Northern Gritstone’s investment strategy and the potential of the North of England as a hub for innovation and entrepreneurship.
Northern Gritstone has already made 15 initial investments in science and technology firms in the North of England, and the new funding will allow the company to continue to support university spin-outs and IP-rich businesses in the region. The company aims to create a sustainable ecosystem for innovation and entrepreneurship in the North of England, helping to drive economic growth and create jobs in the region.
Overall, Northern Gritstone’s investment journey has been impressive, with the company securing significant funding from a range of investors. The company’s focus on university spin-outs and IP-rich businesses in the North of England has the potential to create a thriving ecosystem for innovation and entrepreneurship in the region, which is exciting news for the North of England and the UK as a whole.
Impact on the Northern Venture Ecosystem
The final close of £312m by Northern Gritstone is expected to have a significant impact on the Northern Venture Ecosystem. The investment business focuses on university spin-outs and IP-rich businesses in the North of England, including Manchester, Yorkshire, and Merseyside, amongst others.
The funding will allow Northern Gritstone to explore further opportunities across the wider Northern Venture Ecosystem and stimulate growth and job creation in the region. This is expected to have a positive impact on the Tech and Science Ecosystem, as well as the wider Innovation and Technology sectors.
Northern Gritstone has already been instrumental in supporting innovative start-ups and scale-up businesses, with a particular focus on Advanced Materials and Health Technology.
The investment business has worked closely with academic entrepreneurs from the Universities of Leeds, Manchester, and Sheffield to support the creation of record numbers of spin-outs and university spinouts.
The final close of £312m has been anchored by investments from local authority pension funds, including Northern LGPS. This is a clear indication of the strong interest from investors in Northern Gritstone’s proposition and its potential to drive innovation and growth in the region.
Professor Luke Georghiou, Deputy President and Deputy Vice-Chancellor at the University of Manchester, and Chair of the Innovation Factory, has welcomed the news, stating that “Northern Gritstone’s success is a testament to the quality of innovation and entrepreneurship in the North of England. This latest investment will help to build on the momentum we are seeing in the region and create even more opportunities for academic entrepreneurs.”
Overall, the final close of £312m by Northern Gritstone is an exciting development for the Northern Venture Ecosystem and is expected to have a significant impact on job creation and innovation in the region.
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