Cambridge tech ecosystem valued at $191 billion

The Cambridge tech ecosystem now has a combined value of $191 billion, representing 18% of the entire UK's tech ecosystem and more than Spain and Italy combined, according to new analysis by Dealroom for Founders at the University of Cambridge.

The report underscores the innovation taking place in Cambridge as the city cements its reputation as Europe’s deep tech leader.

In the first half of 2024 alone, Cambridge tech companies have raised a record-breaking $1.6 billion, driven by mega rounds for autonomous vehicle company Wayve ($1.05 billion) and quantum computing company Quantinuum ($300 million).

Cambridge has always been a tech and science powerhouse, pioneering breakthrough technologies such as AI and IVF. Dividing the total Enterprise Value of companies founded in Cambridge by VC dollars invested reveals that the city has outpaced both the rest of the UK and London in delivering value from venture capital invested. Cambridge has produced 16.9x in value for every dollar of VC investment, significantly ahead of the UK (5.4x) and London (4.8x).

Much of this innovation has taken place at the University of Cambridge, which is the number one science hub in Europe and number one on the continent for producing valuable spinouts. In addition, more Cambridge alumni have raised over $10M on a per capita basis than any other European university (505), ahead of Oxford (410) and Ghent (223). Cambridge alumni founders have started notable companies, including Hermann Hauser (Arm), Alex Kendall (Wayve), Stewart Butterfield (Slack), Demis Hassabis (DeepMind), and Tessa Clarke (Olio).

The new data on Cambridge’s tech ecosystem is released ahead of the first Investor Demo Day for the Start Accelerator programme by Founders at the University of Cambridge, a transformational initiative supporting and accelerating University founders to achieve greater impact. Eleven early-stage deep tech companies with a strong connection to Cambridge have completed the 12-week accelerator, which included access to up to £2 million in investment jointly contributed by the University of Cambridge, through Cambridge Enterprise Ventures, and investment partner Parkwalk Advisors, intensive mentoring with their own dedicated entrepreneur in residence (EIR), free co-working spaces at ideaSpace, and priority access to lab space at Babraham Research Campus, along with support from additional mentors and investors.

Gerard Grech, Managing Director at Founders at the University of Cambridge, said: “Cambridge is a powerhouse of innovation thanks to its combination of groundbreaking entrepreneurs, forward-thinking scientists, research institutions and investors and this data proves that. But we can’t rest on our laurels, we have to ensure that the next generation of venture scientists have the support, mentorship and funding to build the next Wayve or Arm and that is what we are hoping to achieve with Founders at the University of Cambridge.”

Yoram Wijngaarde, founder of Dealroom, said: “Cambridge is a force in the scientific and technology world and for good reason, with the university producing more valuable spinouts than any other in Europe and more successful alumni founders. It’s particularly strong in technologies such as quantum computing, AI drug discovery and semiconductors, as well as life sciences, which are some of the most in-demand sectors for funding and development at the moment. The city needs to ensure it can harness its deep tech expertise to remain top and keep producing category-defining companies in the future.”