Greensphere Capital raises £66.3M for Gaia Sciences Innovation Fund

Funds will invest in start-up, spin-out, and scale-up businesses providing products and services to tackle biodiversity loss and climate change.
Greensphere Capital raises £66.3M for Gaia Sciences Innovation Fund

This week, specialist investment advisor Greensphere Capital, announced that it has raised £66.3 million in conditional capital for its Gaia Sciences Innovation fund. 

Gaia Sciences Innovation brings together a world-leading group of British bioscience and environmental science institutes.

Collectively, these organisations are home to more than 4,000 scientists, researchers, and conservationists, including Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew, ZSL, University of York, UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, and the Anglia Innovation Partnership, where partners include the Earlham Institute, John Innes Centre, Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Quadram Institute, The Sainsbury Laboratory, and the University of East Anglia.

Funds will be deployed to invest into start-up, spin-out, and scale-up businesses linked to these institutions, providing products and services that can help tackle biodiversity loss and climate change.

Companies will be based across the UK, with a particular focus on regional research hubs such as York and Norwich.

The fundraising has been led by a commitment of up to £50 million on a match-funding basis from the UK Infrastructure Bank, alongside a £15 million investment from Franks Mars, Member of the Board of Directors at Mars, Inc., who will also step into a role as chair of the advisory committee for Gaia Sciences Innovation.

This will be invested into creating and scaling businesses harnessing innovation and intellectual property from globally renowned British bioscience and environmental science institutes, helping to unlock the commercial potential of cutting-edge UK research to tackle climate change and biodiversity loss.

Divya Seshamani, Managing Partner of Greensphere Capital, said:

“We are delighted by the calibre of the investors supporting the Gaia Sciences Innovation fund – our team at Greensphere has worked hard to get here since the announcement of the fund launch in November 2023.

As always, our primary objective is to create value for our investors and partner institutes.

 We are honoured to work with some of the most knowledgeable investors in the market, such as the UK Infrastructure Bank and Mars family, who are aligned with our values of people, planet, and profit. We are also humbled to have a values-aligned, science-led leader in bioscience and AgTech investments like Frank Mars join our advisory committee as chair.”

John Flint, CEO of the UK Infrastructure Bank, said:

“Natural capital has the potential to play a significant role in the path to net zero, but we need to scale investment in this sector if it is going to deliver on its promise in the UK.

This deal will help. Our matched funding will support the commercialisation of the science, data and technology crucial to natural capital projects. This will, in turn, generate investor confidence, creating opportunities for natural capital investment while also boosting skills and innovation in a nascent green sector.”

Frank Mars, Chair of the Limited Partner Advisory Committee of Gaia Sciences Innovation, said:

“Having over 15 years of both bioscience and AgTech business experience, including as an investor, I often get pitched with ‘unique'

opportunities. Individual ideas are relatively easy. In my experience, it takes collaborating with others for something to become an

innovation – which is the hard part. The Greensphere team, Gaia Sciences Innovation structure and the Gaia Sciences Innovation fund are providing exactly the sort of collaborative solutions the world needs, combining bioscience innovation with systems thinking to ensure we can leave future generations with a healthy planet and a thriving economy.

Lead image: Karsten Würth.

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