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10 December, 2018 - 07:24 By Tony Quested

Seven Cambridge companies in UK gazelles hot 100

Seven technology businesses born or rooted in Cambridge have made a new elite of Britain’s fastest growing businesses – the Top 100, created by Cambridge equity crowdfunder SyndicateRoom.

CMR Surgical, developing a next-generation surgical robot, was highest placed of the local fraternity in sixth. It is also the highest ranking medical devices business.

Improbable is seventh, Darktrace 34th, Healx 45th, Cytora 48th, Telensa 66th and Cydar 77th.

Martin Frost, CEO of CMR Surgical, said: “This is great recognition of a transformational year for CMR Surgical. The support from our investors, both new and existing, and the hard-work of our world-class team, has enabled the rapid growth of our company in 2018.

“This all gets us closer to our goal of delivering the benefits of minimal access surgery to all who need it.  We are now firmly focused on 2019 and launching Versius to the NHS and the wider world.”

The SyndicateRoom listing comes just months after CMR Surgical announced a record-breaking Series B funding round of $100 million – the largest ever Series B raise by a medical devices company in Europe.

The company has more than doubled in size over the past year, now employing over 250 people, and is moving into a 55,000 sq ft global headquarters on the outskirts of Cambridge.

Improbable was Cambridge’s 15th billion dollar business. It makes distributed simulation software for video games and corporate use.

The virtual reality sensation secured a $500m investment round led by Arm’s Japanese owner SoftBank earlier this year. It was founded by Cambridge computer science alumni Herman Narula (CEO) and Rob Whitehead (CTO) in 2012.

Its SpatialOS operating system is transforming capabilities across sectors as diverse as game development, smart city design, including transport networks, telecoms and monitoring of autonomous vehicles.

Darktrace is Cambridge’s most recent billion dollar company and is gaining increasing global traction with cyber security technology based on Cambridge University IP.

Healx, specialising in re-formulating treatments for sufferers of rare diseases, is leveraging an AI platform – HealNet. The technology enables highly parallel and large-scale rare disease drug discovery, significantly reducing time, cost and risk.

HealNet was built and is maintained using a variety of machine learning methods applied to a wide range of data types from both publicly available and exclusive sources. These include scientific literature, patents, clinical trials, disease symptoms, drug targets, multi-omics data and chemical structures. HealNet is enhanced by a team of rare disease experts, patient advocates, pharmacologists, clinicians and scientific curators.

Cytora,founded and spun out of the University of Cambridge in 2014, is building new foundations for commercial insurance, enabling insurers to underwrite more accurately and deliver fairer prices to their customers. Its goal is to elevate the insurance industry to a new standard where insurance is simple, fast, and transparent, built on a foundation of tractable data.

Telensa is already internationally successful. The company makes wireless smart city applications, helping cities, regional authorities and utilities around the world save energy, work smarter and deliver more joined up services.

Cydar, based in Barrington, is working to improve care in the operating room. Co-founders Tom Carrell, a vascular surgeon and Graeme Penney, an imaging scientist, formed Cydar in 2012 to solve a true clinical problem – the need for better visualisation of the anatomy during endovascular surgery.

Since then, Carrell and Penney have been turning world-leading image processing research into a global first in cloud-based healthcare.

SyndicateRoom’s Top 100 report uses a unique methodology which analysed valuations over time to rank the UK’s top private companies.

Green energy supplier Bulb tops this year’s league table, having multiplied its valuation by 351x since 2015; 67 per cent of winners are based in London and only 12 per cent of companies have female founders.

Francesca O'Brien, head of private markets at SyndicateRoom, said:“It's always great to see such a wide array of exciting companies leading the nation – but there is some cause for concern.

“The UK’s historical status as Europe’s tech hub is based in part on the easy access London startups have to VC financing. Brexit is happening, and it’s already affecting the level of funding available for our homegrown businesses. If the UK wants to remain at the edge of innovation, we need to find a new way to collaborate.”

SyndicateRoom is an online investment platform which has helped 140+ early-stage UK businesses secure more than £140 million in funding through its investor-led equity crowdfunding model.

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