Rainbow Seed Fund Partners

Rainbow was established in September 2001, and launched in May 2002 with initial funding of £4m from the UK Government, now increased to £24m. It comprises a partnership of 10 leading publicly funded research centres, structured as a limited partnership, with Midven responsible for the investment activity of the fund.

This partner network, described in detail on our website, provides a very broad base of research from which to make investments in promising spin-out companies.

Rainbow’s strategy is to make investment in early stage spinout companies or projects arising from the partners’ research. Small ‘pathfinder investments’ of less than £25,000 help to develop those technologies to the proof of concept stage, where larger investments can be made by the fund.

The fund can invest up to £500,000 in any one company or project. The fund works closely with the technology transfer offices of the Limited Partners to identify potential investments and appropriate resources to accelerate the development of the technologies.

Many of the technologies from the partner network Rainbow invests in can be transformative for their industries, but the science involved in disciplines such as physics and biotech can require longer development timeframes.

Rainbow generally invests at an earlier stage than other VCs would, even before proof of concept, and so the time from investment to exit is generally expected to be 2-3 years longer than the average 7 year holding for a venture fund.

Rainbow has made full-scale investment in 29 companies, with total external valuation of £110m, and funded a further 26 technologies to proof of concept through the Pathfinder Programme.

Rainbow Seed Fund Partners