In brief: Future Planet Capital plans to launch LIFTS tech impact fund

The impact-focused venture capital firm is seeking to launch a new national university fund alongside the investment arm of Timpson Group.

Future Planet Capital has filed a joint proposal with the investment arm of retailer Timpson Group to launch a new university fund, according to a statement.

The fund has been submitted under British Business Bank’s (BBB) Long-term Investment for Technology and Science (LIFTS) initiative, which seeks to facilitate funds that allow defined contribution pension funds to invest in the UK tech and start-up space.

With $400 million assets under management according to New Private Markets data, Future Planet Capital is an impact-focussed venture capital firm based in London. Its flagship strategy, Future Planet Fund, invests in companies emerging from universities. The firm also has a history of managing tech funds on behalf of the British government; it currently manages the UK Innovation and Science Seed Fund.

The new fund will deploy 70-80 percent of its capital into series B and C companies that are tackling global challenges, a spokesperson told NPM. The firm will leverage its access to existing university funds and government research institutes to invest the remaining 20-30 percent in early-stage companies. At least 70 percent of the capital will be invested into the UK, in fields such as artificial intelligence, climate technologies, engineering biology, quantum computing and semiconductors.

FPC is targeting a £250 million (€291 million; $320 million) initial close, the spokesperson confirmed, in line with the maximum amount of government funded commitment BBB expects to be made available to successful proposals. The fund has an open-ended structure and so could scale further in the future. The firm has a pipeline of over 140 investors across its different platforms, including 50 pensions schemes, and has already lined up initial commitments.