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IP Group is a world leading intellectual property commercialisation company established in the UK in 2000 through a partnership with Oxford University. In 2017 it expanded to Australia, forming IP Group Australia and partnering with the Group of Eight universities to commercialise Australian research.

As of April 2023, IP Group has more than 150 portfolio companies, collectively valued at over $10 billion.

IP Group focuses its investments on 3 main themes: a healthier future, a tech-enriched future, and a regenerative future. It has backing from committed investors, predominantly global institutional investors. This includes more than $300 million managed on behalf of major Australian superannuation fund Hostplus.

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 2019. The partnership has $100 million in total committed capital and has made 14 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 commercialisation experience. Investee companies also benefit from IP Group’s established global networks, deep expertise in the management of intellectual property, and access to affiliated advisors.

As an investor of patient equity capital, IP Group may invest between $10 million and $20 million in a business and looks to invest for at least 5 years. This commitment provides a strong foundation for the commercialisation process.

Canopus Networks

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

Canopus Networks has developed a terabit-scale encryption proof customer insights platform for telecommunications companies. Its product uses artificial intelligence algorithms combined with SDN to enable the providers to drive operational efficiency, improve customer experience and unlock customer value.

IP Group has invested $5.5 million in Canopus Networks since late 2018, across 3 investment rounds. Canopus Networks is working with major telecommunications providers in Australia and globally.

Michael Molinari, Managing Director of IP Group Australia, is encouraged by the progress the Canopus Networks team is making, describing it as ‘a leading example of what is possible when bringing together great Australian research capability with global experience and networks, supported by capital from a tax efficient structure. Companies like Canopus will be essential in creating a dividend from the more than $13 billion invested in research across our university sector each year’.

Features

  • IP Group Australia’s IP2IPO Australia VCLP No 1 LP has $100 million in total committed capital and has made 14 investments in Australia to date.
  • The fund is focused on investing in spin-out companies from Australia’s leading research universities.
  • Investee company Canopus Networks has developed unique technology that enables telecommunications providers to drive operational efficiency, improve customer experience and unlock customer value. Its success is an example of the benefits of venture capital investment for commercialisation programs.

How the Australian Government has helped

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

In this way, the VCLP program helps innovative Australian businesses like Canopus Networks to commercialise promising early stage technologies.

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 startups and spin out companies.
— Michael Molinari, Managing Director, IP Group Australia

Further information

IP Group Australia has assisted Canopus Networks through a venture capital limited partnership (VCLP) registered under the Australian Government’s VCLP program.

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