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Empirical Ventures secures £8.25 million for deep science research


Apr 4, 2024

Empirical Ventures, founded by alumni of the Bristol spinout Ziylo, has successfully raised £8.25m for its deep science fund, S/EIS, with the goal of reaching a total of £10M. The firm aims to provide support to early-stage deep science startups in a variety of industries. These startups range from brain implants to robotic crop harvesters to vaccine temperature management, covering areas such as life sciences, advanced materials, photonics and quantum hardware, robotics and automation, agchem/tech, and deeptech.

The firm’s focus is on leveling up the UK’s deeptech landscape by leading due diligence processes for potential investments in deep science. This approach helps to de-risk early-stage investments for both investors and co-investors. £5M of the funding was awarded to the fund by the British Business Investments Regional Angels Programme, with the remaining £3.25M coming from other investors.

Co-founders Dr. Jonathan Matlock (PhD, Chemistry) and Dr. Ben Miles (PhD, Physics) have backgrounds in deep science scaling and investing in the UK. They met at the University of Bristol spinout Ziylo in 2016, where they were part of the core scientific team. Ziylo was later acquired by Novo Nordisk in a deal worth over $800 million, one of the largest acquisitions of a UK spinout company.

Dr. Jonathan Matlock expressed the firm’s goal of supporting innovative startups that address future challenges such as climate change, accessible healthcare, and resource scarcity. They also aim to back startups that create new markets and possibilities based on cutting-edge technology. Dr. Ben Miles highlighted the importance of validating and funding novel technologies from the beginning to help founders navigate their entrepreneurial journeys successfully. Their approach is informed by their own experiences to create successful and impactful companies.

By editor

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