Rainbow Seed Fund

Rainbow Seed Fund

The Rainbow Seed Fund is a £24m early-stage venture capital fund building and growing technology companies stemming from the UK’s research base.

We help build companies from great science developed in: public laboratories, science and technology campuses and synthetic biology.

We hold investments in some of the UK’s most innovative companies, in areas as diverse as novel antibiotics, research into Alzheimer’s disease, “green” chemicals and airport security.


Rainbow Seed Fund Investments

We’re prepared to invest early and help build a commercial proposition around a technology to attract additional investment needed to get to market.


The Rainbow Seed Fund Investment Criteria

The Fund’s investment criteria which must be met for us to invest are:

1. Projects and companies arise from world-class research carried out in our partner laboratories across the UK, including those at Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (STFC), Babraham Institute (BBSRC) and Porton Down (Dstl).



2. Companies are based at or relocating to our partners’ national science and innovation campuses in Harwell Oxford, Babraham Cambridge, Daresbury Warrington and Norwich.

Babraham-Research-Campus-smallHarwell-Oxford  Sci Tech Daresbury 2Norwich Research


3. UK Companies working in the field of synthetic biology: Synthetic biology is an exciting new discipline based on the design and engineering of biologically-based parts, novel devices and systems and the redesign of existing, natural biological systems.


Economic Value Generated By The Fund Since Its Creation In 2002

A key part of our value in economic terms is in the pivotal early role we play in getting technology companies off the ground, often whilst they are still in the laboratory and before they are ready to spin out. Many of our companies might never have made it, if it had not been for our support and the technologies and services they offer would not have progressed beyond an interesting concept.


What We And Our Companies Have Already Achieved

  • We have helped to create over 30 high technology start-up companies in sectors such as health, environmental services, international development and security.
  • We have leveraged over £190 million of private investment into our portfolio companies. This represents a ratio of over £20 for every £1 invested from Rainbow.
  • Over and above co-investment, we have helped generate wider economic impact in the form of salaries, taxes and economic activity in suppliers. Known as “Gross Value Add” (GVA), this measurement, at £5 of GVA for every £1 invested by Rainbow, already shows the benefit of early stage investment, and is forecasted to grow substantially as the companies mature and grow.
  • We have bolstered the UK’s exports – an overwhelming majority of sales in Rainbow companies are overseas and total sales have already reached over £70m.
  • We have helped to create over 240 high value technology-related jobs, a figure that is rising rapidly as the companies accelerate and transition from research into production and sales.
  • The Fund has already had four successful exits and has recycled the funds into new investments. It still holds significant stakes in some very promising companies that we expect to realize in coming years.

In recognition of these achievements, in November 2013 the Rainbow Seed Fund received an additional £10M investment to support the commercialisation of synthetic biology technologies.

This funding was in response to the Synthetic Biology Roadmap, which sets out plans to harness opportunities in the field of synthetic biology. Synthetic biology is one of the eight great technologies highlighted by the UK government as an area of wide-ranging significance and potential economic importance, and in which the UK’s research base is particularly strong.


Additional Background


The Rainbow Seed Fund is independently managed by Dr. Andrew Muir and Mark White at Midven.

More information on the Fund can be found at: www.rainbowseedfund.com


Fund Facts

Current As At: 31st January 2016

Fund Amount £24m

4 Profitable Exits

30 Companies

Fund Managers

Associated Investments


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