Huawei has been revealed as an LP in Oxford Sciences Innovation, investing late last year before the university blocked the corporate from philanthropic donations.
Oxford Sciences Innovation (OSI), the university venture capital vehicle for University of Oxford, has added China-based telecommunications equipment and services provider Huawei as a limited partner, the Financial Times reported yesterday.
Huawei is believed to have bought 4.1 million shares over the past year through a Netherlands-based subsidiary called Huawei Technologies Cooeperatief, taking its stake in OSI to about 0.7%. Huawei has never been listed on OSI’s website as a backer.
The deal was concluded in late 2018 before University of Oxford blocked the firm’s philanthropic donations due to fears over its influence in the UK technology space. A spokesperson for OSI said the corporate would not have “special access to [OSI] companies or their underlying technology.”
US sanctions have begun to disrupt Huawei’s innovation strategy, and the FT reported that a collaboration between its Futurewei subsidiary and University of California, Berkeley had been forced into hundreds of redundancies.
OSI has raised more than £600m ($737m) since it was founded in 2015, anchored by the university and with additional contributions from investors including GV, part of internet and technology conglomerate Alphabet, and Singaporean sovereign wealth fund Temasek.
Other limited partners in the fund include IP Group, Wellcome Trust, Lansdowne Partners and Invesco Asset Management. Beleaguered fund manager Woodford Investment Management reportedly sold off its $69.6m stake to family offices and unnamed international investors in May 2019.
The original version of this article appeared on our sister site, Global University Venturing.