Founded in 2001, IP Group helps to create, build and support IP-based companies from partner universities and related ecosystems. The group invests thematically, focusing on companies that meaningfully contribute to sustainable (renewable), healthier (life sciences) and tech-enriched (deep tech) futures. IP Group has an international footprint, with investment platforms in Australia, New Zealand, the US and China, as well as the UK. IP Group also owns the early-stage private company fund manager, Parkwalk Advisors, which manages c £390m of alumni funds for Oxford, Cambridge and Bristol universities, as part of IP Group’s £540m of funds under management. IP Group is a FTSE 250 business.
In this interview, IP Group CEO Greg Smith introduces the company and explains what differentiates its investment model and approach. He talks about the group’s international positioning and Parkwalk, the group’s UK fund management business. He also touches on FY21, a record year for IP Group, which included the IPO of Oxford Nanopore (one of IP Group’s three unicorns to date), leaving the group with substantial cash on its balance sheet to invest through the downturn. Greg discusses his picks of the portfolio, including First Light Fusion, which achieved first fusion at the start of the year. Finally, he talks about IP Group’s valuation, trying to reconcile the group’s strong operational performance with its 50% discount to NAV.