New fund from Rock Spring Ventures will back sector growth

Published: 22 January 2013

Rock Spring Ventures today launched a unique £50m venture capital fund focusing on early-stage life science and health technology companies. The new fund has secured early commitments for more than half of its target from an unprecedented syndicate of international investors.

Rock Spring Ventures today launched a unique £50m venture capital fund focusing on early-stage life science and health technology companies.

Based in Scotland, the fund will invest in young companies developing novel approaches to unmet needs in the study and treatment of major diseases and technologies designed to advance better healthcare delivery.

The new fund has secured early commitments for more than half of its £50m target from an unprecedented syndicate of international investors. Initial investors include the European Investment Fund (EIF); Scottish Enterprise through the Scottish Investment Bank; Strathclyde Pension Fund; Rock Spring Ventures LP (RSV-US) and the Universities of Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen. The fund aims to provide venture capital to the most promising life science technologies, including those being spun-out from leading universities.

Rock Spring Ventures EU LP (RSV-EU) is led by a sector-specific investment team with significant company-building experience. Managing partners Sinclair Dunlop and (Ms) Kyp Sirinakis have managed three US-based venture funds during the last fifteen years. Dunlop recently returned from the US to his native Scotland to launch the new fund.

Created in response to an identified need for more sector-specific financial backing, RSV-EU plans to help address the lack of venture funding by becoming a ‘local champion’ for the life science sector in what the Fund firmly believes to be ‘under-ventured’ markets in Scotland and other parts of the UK.

With plans to form syndicates of early-stage investors, including funders from outside the UK, RSV-EU sees itself as a future catalyst for the scale-up of available venture capital for the sector. The Fund will also add overseas business development reach for its future portfolio companies via its sister fund, RSV-US, and its established network of operations in North East Asia.

“We are particularly excited to be partnering with a unique investor group that includes three of Scotland’s world-class universities to provide the capital needed to realise the full potential of their spin-out companies”, said Dunlop.

“The incredible strength of the research base across the UK, and in Scotland in particular, makes it a natural location for us.

“We believe early-stage life science and health technology companies in Scotland and the rest of the UK offer the potential for strong financial returns to our investors,” said Kyp Sirinakis, co-manager of the Fund.

“We also believe that what we’re now setting in motion will, in time, play an important part in further developing the commercial potential of early-stage life sciences research across the UK.”

Kerry Sharp, acting head of the Scottish Investment Bank, said: “The lack of access to capital is having a profound effect on life sciences companies and their ability to grow.

“Scottish companies in particular are having a hard time finding the finance they need. This new fund represents a unique opportunity for us to support the sector in Scotland.

“The fact that RSV has chosen to base their operations here shows great confidence in the Scottish life sciences sector and the people and organisations working in it. We’re very pleased to be working with them in helping the sector to grow.”

Professor Steve Beaumont, Vice Principal Research and Enterprise at the University of Glasgow, said: “We’re pleased to be partnering with the Universities of Aberdeen and Edinburgh to support Rock Spring Ventures. 

“Scotland’s life science expertise is admired around the world and we’re confident Rock Spring Ventures will provide cutting-edge bioscience spinouts with the early-stage assistance they need to reach their full potential.”

Notes to Editors:


Comment from each of the investment partners is available on request. 


Scottish Enterprise: T: 0141 242 8338 M: 07825 72088

Strathclyde Pension Fund: T: 0141 287 0930 M: 07766697387 

University of Edinburgh: 0131 6502246 M: 07791 355 809

University of Glasgow: T: 0141 330 8593 M: 07816 984 68

University of Aberdeen: Shaunagh Kirby at T: 01224 273108 M: 07825 734120

European Investment Fund: Joelle Harvey at


For more information contact: 

Joan Grady
t:0141 242 8338 

Scottish Enterprise is Scotland's main economic development agency and aims to deliver a significant, lasting effect on the Scottish economy. Our role is to help identify and exploit the best opportunities for economic growth. We support ambitious Scottish companies to compete within the global marketplace and help build Scotland’s globally competitive sectors. We also work with a range of partners in the public and private sectors to attract new investment to Scotland and to help create a world-class business environment.

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The Scottish Investment Bank is a division of Scottish Enterprise operating Scotland-wide in partnership with Highlands and Islands Enterprise. It manages a suite of funds including the Scottish Seed Fund; the Scottish Co-investment Fund; the Scottish Venture Fund; the Scottish Plastics Loan Fund and the Renewable Energy Investment Fund. It is the cornerstone investor in the privately-managed Scottish Loan Fund. These support Scotland’s SME funding market to ensure businesses with growth and export potential have adequate access to capital. SIB also provides a team of financial readiness specialists to help companies prepare for new investment and more easily access finance from the private sector. See for more. 



First published: 22 January 2013

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