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updated 12:16 PM BST, Oct 20, 2014
Technology and life sciences news from the Cambridge cluster

Mike Lynch's new VC firm to focus on ‘fundamental’ European technology

The head of Dr Mike LynchOne of the UK’s most successful ever technology entrepreneurs, Dr Mike Lynch, has launched a new investment firm focused on leveraging European technology.

Very little information is yet available about Invoke Capital, a company that appears to have been founded by a group of managers that helped build Autonomy, once the UK’s largest independent software company before it was acquired by Hewlett Packard for £7.1 billion, the biggest exit of any Cambridge technology firm.

The investment group’s two page web site says it will provide a new approach to unlocking the potential of fundamental European technology, though how the approach will be new or what is meant by fundamental technology is as of yet unknown.

Global Corporate Venturing, which broke the story quotes Dr Lynch, says (paywall) Invoke will use Autonomy’s experience of successfully commercialising university research.

UK universities are the best in the world but the technologies on the bench rarely reach the market. Autonomy showed a way of doing this and [with Invoke] we have access to substantial sums of money and the people who did it.
“UK universities are the best in the world but the technologies on the bench rarely reach the market,” says Dr Lynch in Global. “Autonomy showed a way of doing this and [with Invoke] we have access to substantial sums of money and the people who did it.”

Stories that Dr Lynch was moving into venture capital territory first appeared in July. Since the HP acquisition he has made one public investment, an angel round in Featurespace, a Cambridge University spin-out whose technology is closely aligned with that of Autonomy.

The Invoke web site says its team offers unrivalled business experience and though this relates largely to time at a single company there are few investors in the UK particularly that can lay claim to knowing what it takes and indeed what it's like to go from a startup to a multi-billion pound company.

Autonomy also spun out Blinkx, valued at $225m at IPO, has a very popular augmented reality division, Aurasma, and handled several technology acquisitions technology acquisitions, which were successfully integrated into Autonomy and played a key role in increasing the firm's value over time.

“We managed UK success story Autonomy's rise from tech startup to the UK's largest software company, with an acquisition value of $12 billion,” says the web site.

“We represent the complete, premier technology management team, and are dedicated to delivering significant value for investors and creating real growth in the technology landscape. Our renowned business and financial leaders and world-class technologists make up a team with unrivalled experience in technology investment.”