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Cambridge's IQ Capital raises $300m fund for artificial intelligence start-ups

Matthew Field
IQ Capital partners Max Bautin, Kerry Baldwin and Ed Stacey - 2015 2

Cambridge-based venture capital firm IQ Capital has secured $300m in new funds for investments in artificial intelligence and machine learning start-ups.

The Cambridge venture firm, which targets early stage start-ups working on technologies from advanced speech and sound recognition to data privacy, has previously secured sales to the likes of Google, Amazon and Facebook, which snapped up IQ Capital investment Bloomsbury AI last year.

IQ Capital said the funding would help it scope out new opportunities in so-called “deep tech”, initiatives and start-ups focused on scientific advances and breakthroughs. 

Last month, it participated in one of the UK's largest funding deals in a data privacy start-up, joining a $40m in London start-up Privitar.

It is also an investor in Audio Analytic, a start-up working on sound recognition technology that can hear and recognise sounds like a window smashing or be used to alert a household to a baby's cry. Audio Analytic recently raised $12m from IQ and Silicon Valley investors.

IQ Capital's investors include the British Business Bank's Patient Capital Fund and investment from National Grid Partners, the venture capital arm of the utility giant.

Co-founder Max Bautin said half of all European investment in deep tech, around $1.75bn last year, was invested in the UK, with IQ Capital “now firmly established as the leading deep tech investor in the UK”.

IQ Capital invested in 12 start-ups last year. Its portfolio has increased in value to $1.2bn.

Britain's venture capital firms have seen a steady stream of new funding closes this year. Crane Ventures announced a $90m fund last month to target machine intelligence start-ups, while Octopus Ventures, part of Octopus Group, launched an £83m in April.