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18 January, 2021 - 14:53 By Tony Quested

Kymab the 20th Cambridge business to notch $bn valuation

Kymab’s $1.45 billion acquisition by French heavyweight Sanofi brought the total of Cambridge-born companies with a billion dollar valuation to a new high of 20.

It is a stunning achievement by such a relatively small science & technology cluster – measured against a global benchmark.

Kymab does not qualify for unicorn status – the sole territory of private businesses with a $1bn valuation – because Sanofi is a publicly quoted company.

Several more companies with multibillion dollar valuations based in Cambridge were not born locally so do not qualify for the elite list.

For the record, Cambridge-gated companies that topped the billion dollar benchmark are as follows, listed alphabetically: Abcam, Arm, Autonomy, AVEVA, Blinx, CAT, CMR Surgical, Chiroscience, CSR, Darktrace, Domino, Frontier Developments, Improbable, Ionica, Kymab, Marshall of Cambridge, Prometic, Solexa, Virata, Xaar.

Despite the proliferation of life science businesses in the Cambridge Cluster only six of the 20 are from that segment.

Business Weekly CEO Tony Quested said: “With the current surge of Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, DeepTech and Synthetic Biology businesses in Cambridge one would expect significant additions to that elite list in the months and years ahead.

“One also imagines that a handful of exciting young life science companies currently adding muscle at pace will also join the throng. Cambridge has punched well above its weight for years now and record numbers of global investors have become increasingly aware of the innovation bred here and the potential to scale the prime operators.

“Earlier and bigger funding of our best of breed startups could well double the number of Cambridge-born billion dollar businesses before the turn of the century.”

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