IP Group is a world-leading intellectual property (IP) commercialisation company established in the United Kingdom in 2000 through a partnership with Oxford University. Now, IP Group has over 150 portfolio companies valued at around $2 billion AUD.

IP Group invests in the life sciences and technology industries. They are backed by committed investors, predominantly global institutional investors. In 2017, IP Group expanded to Australia forming IP Group Australia and partnering with the Group of Eight Universities to commercialise Australian research.

IP Group Australia provides investors with the benefits offered by a registered Venture Capital Limited Partnership (VCLP) through IP2IPO Australia VCLP No 1 LP, a limited partnership founded in late 2019. The partnership has $50 million AUD in total committed capital and has made 10 investments in Australia to date.

IP Group Australia understands the journey academic founders face when commercialising their research and looks to assist investee companies by providing their commercialisation experience. Investee companies also benefit from established global networks, deep expertise in the management of IP and access to affiliated advisors. Being an investor of patient-equity capital, IP Group may invest $10 million to $20 million AUD over the lifetime of a business and look to invest for at least five to seven years. This commitment provides a strong foundation for the commercialisation process.

One investee company where this approach has worked is Canopus Networks, founded in 2018 and specialising in software-defined networking (SDN). The IP was developed from research by Professor Vijay Sivaraman and Himal Kumar at the University of New South Wales’ School of Electrical Engineering and Telecommunications.

Canopus Networks uses artificial intelligence algorithms combined with SDN to enable service providers to identify what type of traffic is being used by their networks at a granular level. For example, how many people are using zoom versus other video conferencing platforms. This information can help the provider optimise its network and provide tailored products to match consumer needs.

It is a really important program, I think Australia really does need to diversify its economy and in order to do that needs an early stage ecosystem for start ups and spin out companies.
— Michael Molinari, Managing Director, IP Group Australia


  • IP Group Australia’s VCLP No 1 LP has $50 million total committed capital and has made 10 investments to date.
  • The fund is focused on investing in spinout companies from Australia’s leading research universities.
  • Investee company Canopus Networks’ unique technology helps providers understand and improve network functionality and products, and is an example of the benefits of venture capital investment for commercialisation programs.

IP Group has invested $2.5 million AUD in Canopus Networks since late 2018, across two investment rounds. Although a young Australian company, Canopus Networks is already engaging with interest from major telecommunications providers in Australia.

The insights Canopus Networks technology can provide is relevant during the increased pressure on broadband networks during the COVID-19 pandemic. The technology will also lead to the development of other specialised tools that will help optimise telecommunications networks.

Michael Molinari, Managing Director of IP Group Australia is encouraged by the progress this can bring to Australia’s networks, as the technology “ will enable prioritisation of high value data – at the moment the internet has no way of differentiating between my zoom call which is important, and backing up my cloud file storage, which is less urgent”.

How the Government has helped

The VCLP program provides attractive benefits for global venture-capital players like IP Group to make investments found only in the Australian market. These investments can be early or late stage.

The VCLP program enables venture capital investors and professional managers to invest in promising early-stage technologies, like Canopus Networks.

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