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The most promising deep tech startups of Cambridge in 2021

According to this report by Tech Nation, Cambridge is positioned among one of the eight cities in the UK with a higher digital density than the average The city is home to some of the fastest-growing tech companies in the UK such as Darktrace, GeoSpock and more has been estimated to have a turnover of £2.4 billion.

When detailing investments, Oxford, Bristol, Cambridge and Edinburgh are top for tech investments outside of London. At the same time, in 2020, VC investment in deep tech increased by 17% rising to nearly $4 billion. This investment trend in the deep tech companies builds on the UK’s rich history in R&D and strong deeptech ecosystem with established companies – ARM and Graphcore driving global success.

Notably, one of the popular Cambridge-based companies Five (formerly known as Five AI) received the biggest impact funding of $40 million in 2020 amidst the pandemic crisis. So, which are the other deep tech companies in Cambridge that are making a buzz and got some fundings lately. Today at UKTN, we take a brief look into these stars shining high.

Image credits: Riverlane


Founder/s: Steve Brierley

Founded year: 2017

Funding: NA

Riverlane builds ground-breaking software to unleash the power of quantum computers. Backed by leading venture-capital funds and the University of Cambridge, the company develops software that transforms quantum computers into commercial products. Riverlane works with chemical, pharmaceutical and materials industries to improve algorithms.

Earlier this year, Riverlane raised $20 million (nearly £14.2 million) in Series A funding round led by European technology venture capital fund Draper Esprit along with existing investors, Cambridge Innovation Capital, Amadeus Capital Partners, and the University of Cambridge.

The company will use the investment to build Deltaflow, its operating system for quantum computers. Also, it will focus on expanding internationally to the US, Europe and beyond. The funding will accelerate Riverlane’s mission to build a high-performance operating system that makes quantum computers useful.

Image credits: Focal Point Positioning

Focal Point Positioning

Founder/s: Ramsey Faragher

Founded year: 2015

Funding: £10.8M

Focal Point Positioning has revolutionised navigation and positioning software for smartphones, wearables and autonomous vehicles through the development of two core products: S-GNSS and D-Tail. S-GNSS improves the sensitivity and accuracy of GPS receivers, making it far easier to track people indoors and in remote environments. D-Tail taps into sensors within a smartphone or wearable device to more accurately track users in three-dimensions, producing data that can be trusted more than ever before.

In March, Focal Point Positioning secured £6 million Series B funding from Draper Esprit. The company will use the investment to accelerate deployment of next-generation positioning technology into chipsets and devices across mobile, wearables, vehicles and IoT.

Fetch AI
Image credits: Fetch AI

Fetch AI

Founder/s: Humayun Sheikh, Thomas Hain, Toby Simpson

Founded year: 2017

Funding: £16.9M

Fetch.AI is a blockchain-based application development platform. It provides open access, tokenised, decentralised machine learning network to deliver a self-organising framework for transactions. Its system consists of autonomous economic agents that are digital entities that can transact independently of human intervention and can represent people, machines or themselves. It allows users to buy and sell digital assets autonomously with contracts, payments, and execution handled automatically.

Earlier this year, Fetch.AI bagged £5 million investment from GDA Group and affiliates. In conjunction with the newest injection of funds, FET, Fetch.ai’s native token, will be added to Fireblocks’ secure wallet and infrastructure platform for institutional investments.

Corrosion Radar
Image credits: Corrosion Radar


Founder/s: Chiraz Ennaceur, Mehrdad Silatani, Prafull Sharma

Founded year: 2017

Funding: £6.3M

CorrosionRADAR, which is based in Cambridge is a predictive corrosion monitoring tech company that energises the global push on industrial digitalisation. By using cutting-edge technologies from its patent pending distributed sensing technology to Industrial Internet of Things (IIOT) and advanced analytics, the company creates a game-changing solution for tackling corrosion management.

The UK startup bagged £2.9M in a funding round led by Saudi Aramco Energy Ventures (SAEV) in February this year. The investment will be used to drive the next phase of the global growth of CorrosionRadar. Furthermore, the company will strengthen its operations and widen its efforts to address Corrosion Under Insulation (CUI) and other operational challenges with the help of digitalisation.

Image credits: Xampla


Founder/s: Simon Hombersley

Founded year: 2018

Funding: £8.8M

Xampla creates plant protein material for commercial use. Its next-generation material performs like synthetic polymers, but decomposes naturally and fully without harming the environment. The company wants to replace single-use plastics used on an everyday basis.

In January this year, the next-generation plastic replacement company secured £6.2M seed funding led by Horizon Ventures, a private investment arm of Mr Li Ka-shring along with participation from Amadeus Capital Partners. Xampla will use the investment to accelerate the rollout of its natural plant-protein alternative to plastic.

JSF Healthcare
Image credits: JSF Healthcare

JSF Healthcare

Founder/s: Jamil Shah Foridi, Serena Patel

Founded year: 2020

Funding: NA

JSF Healthcare provides a communication solution for healthcare professionals. The company has developed a mobile and web application called ReBleep, which allows users to communicate with team members, share medical documents, manage tasks, and more. The platform offers features for messaging, tracking directories, integrating users’ EHR systems, and tools to transfer files.

It also designed NovaBleep, which is a secure software replacement to pagers for use in healthcare, incorporating technology to not only decrease the time needed for communication. It also enables easier task prioritisation and reduces burnout of healthcare staff.

Image credits: Healx


Founder/s: Tim Guilliams, David Brown

Founded year: 2014

Funding: £53.2M

Healx is an AI-powered and patient-inspired technology company, accelerating the discovery and development of rare disease treatments. Its AI drug discovery platform leverages public and proprietary biomedical data and features the world’s leading knowledge graph for rare diseases. Healx works with the mission to advance 100 rare disease treatments towards the clinic by 2025.

In 2019, Healx $56 million (nearly £48.2 million) Series B funding in a round led by one of the largest VC firms in Europe Atomico. The other investors such as Intel Capital, btov Partners, and Global Brain and existing investors, including Balderton Capital, Amadeus Capital Partners, and Jonathan Milner also participated in the round.

Image credits: Psyomics


Founder/s: Dr Sabine Bahn, Dan Cowell

Founded year: 2015

Funding: £24M

Psyomics is an innovative healthtech company, with a diagnostic platform called Censeo that draws on the psychiatric process. which seeks to transform the way mental health concerns are identified and defined, paving the way for earlier diagnosis and improved outcomes. A spinout from the University of Cambridge, Psyomics has developed unique technology to radically improve the way mental health conditions are assessed and triaged.

Back in October 2020, Psyomics bagged £1.5 million led by University spinout specialists Parkwalk along with fellow existing investors Jonathan Milner, Martlet, and Cambridge Enterprise. The funds will be used to bring its mental health assessment and diagnosis platform, Censeo, to market in the UK.

Image credits: Speechmatics


Founder/s: Tony Robinson

Founded year: 2009

Funding: £10.2M

Speechmatics provides automatic speech recognition technologies. Speech recognition is one of the hardest challenges to solve due to the complexity of human speech, resulting in large memory footprints. Using neural networks with the latest developments from academia and industry, Speechmatics has developed cloud-based and real-time speech-recognition technology – in many languages. The technology can be used anywhere, by anyone, in any language.

Back in 2019, Speechmatics secured £6.35 million Series A funding led by AlbionVC; IQ Capital alongside several angel investors. The funding was announced to be used to support Speechmatics’ global growth ambitions.it will be used to enable product development and geographical expansion, with new offices globally.

Nu Quantum
Image credits: Nu Quantum

Nu Quantum

CEO: Carmen Palacios-Berraquero

Founded year: 2018

Funding: £2.8M

Nu Quantum is a Cambridge University spinout. Quantum computing is set to make most encryption algorithms obsolete. Nu Quantum is producing single photon emitters and receivers that can operate outside of laboratory conditions. This will help raise cybersecurity into the quantum age.

Last year, Nu Quantum, a Cambridge, raised £2.1 million in seed funding from existing investors Amadeus Capital Partners, Ahren Innovation Capital, IQ Capital, Cambridge Enterprise and Martlet Capital and new investor Seraphim Capital. The company intends to use the funds to build its photonics lab in Cambridge and recruit scientists, product team members, and business functions.

Image credits: Nyobolt


Founder/s: Kent J. Griffith, Sai Shivareddy

Founded year: 2020

Funding: £7.84M

Nyobolt has developed a proprietary process using niobium-based anode materials to create batteries that deliver record high power, ultrafast charge and high energy. The world-leading charge and discharge rate capability of Nyobolt batteries, extensively recorded in academic journals, presents a huge opportunity to supercharge the electric revolution. The batteries also address other major challenges facing much existing technology, as they operate within a wide temperature range and are highly durable.

Earlier this year, Nyobolt pocketed $10 million (nearly £7 million) in Series A funding. The round was led by IQ Capital with participation from Cambridge Enterprise and Silicon Valley investors. The funds will be used to expand globally, building new facilities, and growing the engineering and operational teams.

Agile Analog
Image credits: Agile Analog

Agile Analog

Founder/s: Mike Hulse

Founded year: 2017

Funding: £4M

Agile Analog is a company with a mission to transform the landscape of the Analog IP market space. Analog chip design is slow, complex and manual. Agile Analog is changing the way analog chip circuits are designed. Agile Analog allows customers to customise the chip for their specific needs, whether the Internet of Things, Security, Automotive, Artificial Intelligence, or other segments within the vast semiconductor space.

Back in 2019, Agile Analog grabbed $5.1 million (nearly £3.6 million) in a pre-Series A funding round led by Delin Ventures, firstminute Capital and MMC Ventures. The company will use the funding to expand the existing engineering team in Cambridge and deliver analog IP products to a wide range of waiting customers.

Cambridge GaN Devices
Image credits: Cambridge GaN Devices

Cambridge Gan Devices

Founder/s: Giorgia Longobardi, Florin Udrea

Funding: £10M

Founded: 2016

CGD has been created to explore and develop a number of unique opportunities in power electronics made possible by the team’s proprietary application of Gallium Nitride to the silicon-based semiconductor transistor manufacturing process.

With silicon transistors widely acknowledged as having attained maximum efficiency, CGD’s power design engineers have developed a range of Gallium Nitride transistors that are over 100 times faster, lose five to ten times less power and are four times smaller than existing silicon equivalents, and provide ease of use against alternative Gallium Nitride transistors. The possibilities and range of potential applications for these transistors reside in the energy-efficiency and power density applications, supporting energy savings and making the world a greener and better place.

In February,  Cambridge GaN Devices (CGD), secured a $9.5 million (nearly £6.8 million) funding in a Series A round. The funding round was co-led by IQ Capital, Parkwalk Advisors, and BGF. It also included investment from Foresight Williams, Cambridge Enterprise, Martlet Capital, Cambridge Angels, and Cambridge Capital Group. The funds will be used to double staff and expand its GaN product portfolio following decades of research in power devices.