Cambridge Future Tech closes $5m funding round

30 May, 2024
Tony Quested
DeepTech venture builder, Cambridge Future Tech (CFT), has closed its latest round, raising $5 million. The funding will bolster CFT’s venture building activities, driving the next wave of DeepTech innovation for real global impact.
The Cambridge Future Tech team in Cambridge

Working with leading universities and tech transfer offices, CFT will co-found eight new companies in 2024 – ahead of target to co-found a further 40 DeepTech ventures within five years.

Since its launch in 2022, CFT has co-created 10 DeepTech ventures across the UK with several more currently in the build phase; generating over 80 highly skilled jobs and raising over $10 million in external funding. These ventures have been awarded over $4.5 million in grants, supporting vital research and development efforts.

With an aggregate valuation surpassing $50 million at pre-seed, CFT has successfully guided six ventures through their pre-seed rounds in the past year.

Led by CEO Owen Thompson and COO Xavier Parkhouse-Parker, CFT will build an additional eight ventures each year with their corporate partners. Thompson said: “This investment is testament to the huge and growing significance of DeepTech startups for the national industrial strategy, supporting the UK's ambition to bridge the critical gap between scientific discovery and market-ready innovation as a science and technology superpower.

“Cambridge Future Tech is poised to continue expansion with our corporate and academic partners, with the long-term stability needed to begin the creation of a sister VC arm, further strengthening our venture building capabilities.”

CFT’s hands-on approach bridges the gap from lab to market, spinning out cutting-edge tech from universities and corporate research groups to create market-leading ventures. By leveraging their commercial expertise and extensive network, Cambridge Future Tech co-founds ventures with technical and commercial founders; guiding them from pre-incorporation to pre-seed with the tools they need to succeed.

Dr Ghina M. Halabi, Programme Lead at Cambridge Judge Business School Entrepreneurship Centre, said: “Cambridge Future Tech's latest successful round is a powerful endorsement of their bold vision and steadfast commitment to DeepTech innovation.

“By fostering a diverse and inclusive entrepreneurial ecosystem, especially supporting women founders, they are not only driving cutting-edge advancements but also ensuring that the brightest minds are empowered to solve the tough problems facing our world today.”

CFT recently expanded its board by welcoming Michael Beer and Jem Davies. Michael has held various senior finance positions in Silicon Valley, raising $1bn in startup funding between his last two companies, including FreeWire Technologies. Jem Davies’ career spanned 18 years at Arm, where he held various leadership positions including founding GM of the Machine Learning division.

CFT’s key ventures include Literal Labs, Mimicrete, Autopickr, NeuroXR, CamAI, Mission Decisions, SAIF, and GitLife Biotech.

Literal Labs (formerly Mignon) was spun out of the lab of world-leading researchers at Newcastle University and is led by former executives at Arm. It pioneers energy-efficient AI with systems up to 10,000 times more energy-efficient than current neural networks, significantly reducing the carbon footprint of AI operations.

Mimicrete is an advanced materials science startup, founded in 2021, developing novel self-healing concrete. The technology was developed via a doctorate within the University of Cambridge’s Geotechnical and Environmental Research Group in the Department of Engineering.

AutoPickr is a Cambridge-based advanced robotics platform with multiple use cases across agriculture. Now with over $2m in grant funding, commercial traction and field trials with asparagus farmers, the company is moving into the cut flowers and vineyard markets.

Cambridge-based Neuro XR is a pioneer in virtual reality applications for neuroscience, creating immersive environments that aid in the study and treatment of neurological conditions. Neuro XR launched its seed funding round earlier this year after a successful pre-seed raise in December 2023.

Cam AI is a University of Cambridge spin-out with pre-seed funding. Its mission is to improve the mental health of millions of young people through early, real-time, psychological interventions, using conversational AI. It is developing an authentic and transparent chatbot trained on proven therapeutic techniques.

Mission Decisions is a data intelligence company leveraging AI, machine learning and collaborative data environments to unlock true potential in Defence.

SAIF Systems is an Artificial Intelligence startup, developing novel run-time assurance control system software. Run-time assurance works by safely bounding AI behaviours through intelligent safety filtering techniques, thereby assuring any black-box AI controlled system. This technology can enable the use of high-performance AI in operations requiring high integrity, where unintended behaviours are potentially damaging and/or costly.

GitLife Biotech offers developers of gene-edited biological assets the ability to prove both ownership and provenance securely. Our technology combines a digital version control system,, with DNA-based biosecurity tools.