The Cambridge tech ecosystem has a value of $191 billion, representing 18 per cent of the entire UK’s tech ecosystem and more than Spain and Italy combined, according to new analysis by Dealroom for Founders at the University of Cambridge.

However, a statement in the analysis that Wayve – one of the leading fundraisers cited in the report – was a Cambridge business was rejected by the company itself.

The report said: “In the first half of 2024 alone, Cambridge tech companies have raised a record-breaking $1.6 billion driven by mega rounds for autonomous vehicle company Wayve ($1.05bn) and quantum computing company Quantinuum ($300m).”

A Wayve spokesperson said: “While Wayve’s co-founder and CEO completed his PhD at Cambridge, Wayve is not a Cambridge University spinout. The company had its first office in Cambridge but moved its headquarters to London in 2019. Today, we have global offices in London and Silicon Valley and we will be opening our third office in Vancouver this summer.”

The amount Wayve harvested is not in question. Nor is the Quantinuum $300m raise. As we reported at the time, the $300m transaction was at $5bn pre-money valuation and therefore pushed the quantum computing powerhouse to unicorn status several times over.

The amount Wayve achieved was included in the overall total said in the report to have been raised by Cambridge companies. The report says that “Cambridge has always been a tech and science powerhouse, pioneering breakthrough technologies such as AI and IVF.”

It adds: “Dividing the total Enterprise Value of companies founded in Cambridge by VC dollars invested reveals that the city has outpaced both the rest of the UK and London, in delivering value from venture capital invested.

“Cambridge has produced 16.9x in value for every dollar of VC investment, significantly ahead of the UK (5.4x) and London (4.8x). Much of this innovation has taken place in the University of Cambridge which is the number one science hub in Europe, as well as number one on the continent for producing valuable spinouts.

“In addition, more Cambridge alumni have raised over $10 million on a per capita basis – more than any other European university (505), ahead of Oxford (410) and Ghent (223).

“Cambridge alumni founders have started notable companies including Hermann Hauser (Arm), Alex Kendall (Wayve), Stewart Butterfield (Slack), Demis Hassabis (DeepMind) and Tessa Clarke (Olio).”

The new data on Cambridge’s tech ecosystem is released ahead of the first Investor Demo Day for the Start Accelerator programme by Founders at the University of Cambridge, an initiative supporting and accelerating University founders to achieve greater impact.

Eleven early-stage DeepTech companies with a strong connection to Cambridge have completed the programme’s 12-week accelerator which included access to up to £2 million in investment jointly contributed by the University of Cambridge, through Cambridge Enterprise Ventures, and investment partner Parkwalk Advisors, intensive mentoring with their own dedicated entrepreneur in residence, free co-working spaces at ideaSpace and priority access to lab space at Babraham Research Campus, along with support from additional mentors and investors.

Gerard Grech, Managing Director at Founders at the University of Cambridge, said: “Cambridge is a powerhouse of innovation thanks to its combination of groundbreaking entrepreneurs, forward-thinking scientists, research institutions and investors and this data proves that. But we can’t rest on our laurels.”

He said the aim was that Cambridge ensured “that the next generation of venture scientists have the support, mentorship and funding” to build more global tech pioneers “and that is what we are hoping to achieve with Founders at the University of Cambridge.”