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About Us

PUK Equity is the Equity Investment arm of Partnerships UK.

PUK Equity is driven by its public sector mission:  to invest capital in equity ventures with a public/ private profile and a strong commercial potential

PUK Equity is not structured as a conventional fund, and thus is not constrained by the concerns that guide typical VC investment funds.

PUK Equity strives to create and enhance the value of existing assets, products, expertise or intellectual property emanating from public bodies, including universities, by introducing private capital, management expertise and structures to projects promising viable risk/return models.

Investment Profile

The key characteristics of our investments are:

  • Typical investment size range from 750K to 3M, with an average investment size of 1M
  • Sector agnostic. We are happy to consider investments in IP driven technology ventures (both physical and life sciences), non-technology driven mature assets/ businesses and specialist funds
  • Early stage and expansion capital with medium term investment horizon
  • Ability to follow-on investments either alongside other investors or as a sole investor
  • Lead, co-lead or co-invest, depending on deal specifics
  • Hands-on investing with a PUK appointed non-executive role

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Qualifying Criteria

PUK undertakes commercial equity investments in high growth commercially viable opportunities which are compatible with its public sector mission. Our public mission means that we only invest in companies which have one or more of the following characteristics:
  • Originate from Public Sector Research Establishments/ Labs, Universities or the government departments generally
  • Have a significant financial interest / equity shareholding from any of the above
  • Provide a significant service or product input to any of the above (e.g. technology transfer organisations, specific fund of funds)
  • Have assets spun out of the public domain
  • Beyond the mission imperative, PUK's Equity investment criteria are akin to those of any other private equity provider

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Investment Process

Our Investment Committee meets once a month, and more often if necessary, and hence, the decision making is quick and responsive. Our typical investment process is described in the chart below.

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Current Portfolio

Acolyte graphic

Acolyte is a spinout from DSTL and focuses on proprietary diagnostic systems for clinical microbiology. Acolyte has recently launched its first product for rapid detection of MRSA. PUK Equity has invested a total of 1.75M in two funding rounds.


Cascade Technologies

Cascade Technologies developed and patented the world’s first real-time technology for the detection of gas, emissions and explosives through its revolutionary use of quantum cascade lasers (QCLs). This technology offers substantially greater levels of sensitivity over existing technology. PUK invested £750,000 in July 2006.

CellTran logo

Celltran is a spin-out from Sheffield University. It produces specialist wound healing and skin regeneration products using live cells on plasma polymerised bandages. PUK has invested 750K.

Enigma image

Enigma is a spin out from DSTL. It has developed systems for rapid, in-field nucleic acid testing for clinical, veterinary and security applications. PUK Equity invested 1M.

Imperial College London logo

Imperial Innovations offers technology transfer services to Imperial College and other institutions. It also invests in spin-outs. PUK Equity invested 2M.


OPD is the developer of Pelamis, the world’s leading technology for generating renewable electricity from ocean waves. OPD has already signed an €8.2m order to deliver the initial phase of the world’s first commercial wave-farm. PUK invested £1m in May 2006.

Recycling Fund graphic

The Recycling Fund develops sustainable and efficient markets for re-cycled materials and products. PUK Equity is a limited partner in this specialist fund.

Silistix graphic

Silistix is a venture-funded spin-out of the University of Manchester, UK. The company's focus is on the development and deployment of EDA tools and IP for the design of self-timed on-chip interconnect. This technology helps overcome many of the problems associated with the current synchronous approach to chip design, including those relating to timing closure, power consumption, design complexity and product time to market. PUK Invested 1m in January 2007.

Smart Holograms graphic

Smart Holograms is based on unique holographic sensor technology from University of Cambridge. It utilises sensor holograms for non-invasive detection of diseases as well as for other applications such as smart food/ drugs packaging. PUK Equity has invested 1.5M in first round funding.

Visit Scotland graphic

eTourism ltd. is a joint venture with the Scottish Tourist Board and manages the contact center and the official website for Scottish National Tourist Board, providing a broad range of services to visitors. PUK Equity has provided 1.125M in first round funding.

Zoobiotic Ltd logowidth=

Zoobiotic is a spin out from Bro Morgannwg NHS Trust in Wales. It is a maggot therapy business producing and supplying clinical grade maggots for use in wound debridement. PUK Equity invested 250K.

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Equity Team

Christina McComb, Head of Equity
Christina McComb joined Partnerships UK in May 2006 as head of the Equity team. Christina is a former director of 3i plc, with 14 years experience in investment and portfolio management. Latterly, she was responsible for 3i’s UK Technology portfolio. Prior to joining PUK, Christina was a founder director of the Shareholder Executive, a new professional group originally established in the Cabinet Office charged with managing the Government’s interest in public-owned companies (examples being Royal Mail, BNFL, Met Office, Qinetiq).

Tel: 020 7273 8386

Puneet Bhatia, Investment Director
Puneet brings extensive experience in private equity, corporate & structured finance, strategic consulting and business development. He has previously worked with DB Capital Venture Partners, Deutsche Bank AG (M&A and Leveraged Finance) and Ernst & Young Corporate Finance. He also has managed the establishment of an Information Technology start-up in various operational and business development roles.  He holds a MiF from London Business School, along with an MBA and a CFA. He also holds a Bachelors in Technology with honours

Tel: 020 7273 8365

Elaine Loukes, Investment Director
Elaine joined Partnerships UK in 2005 having spent the previous 4 years at Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein working in private equity where she was involved in both venture investing and the secondary sale of a €1.2bn private equity funds portfolio.

Elaine has a PhD in photonics from the University of Southampton and qualified as a Chartered Accountant with Robson Rhodes in 2000.

Tel: 020 7273 8362

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Contact Us

8-10 Great George Street

Christina McComb
020 7273 8386

Puneet Bhatia:
020 7273 8365

Elaine Robertson:
020 7273 8362

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