IP Group plc - Completes first spin-out from the University of Pennsylvania

31 Dec 2014

IP Group plc (LSE: IPO) ("IP Group" or “the Group” or “the Company”), the developer of intellectual property based businesses, is pleased to announce that it has completed its first spin-out from the University of Pennsylvania (“Penn” or “the University”).

IP Group has agreed to provide initial capital of up to $1,000,000 for a significant minority stake in Exyn Technologies Inc. (“Exyn”), which has developed software to control multi-sensory rotorcraft micro aerial vehicles (“MAVs”) as well as communication between flying vehicles. The initial capital will be provided in tranches subject to the successful attainment of commercial and technical milestones.

Exyn has been founded by the University of Pennsylvania and Dr Vijay Kumar, a leading figure in the world of robotics known for his research in the control and coordination of aerial, multi-robot formations: small, agile robots that can swarm, sense each other and form ad hoc teams for construction, surveying disasters and many other potential applications. 

Dr Kumar is the UPS Foundation Professor in the School of Engineering and Applied Science at the University of Pennsylvania and has been on the Faculty in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics with a secondary appointment in the Department of Computer and Information Science at the University of Pennsylvania since 1987. He was the assistant director for robotics and cyber physical systems at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy from 2012-2014.

Dr Kumar is a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (2003), a Fellow of the Institution of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (2005) and a member of the National Academy of Engineering (2013). His research interests are in robotics, specifically multi-robot systems, and micro aerial vehicles.

Nader Elm will join Exyn as its CEO. Prior to joining Exyn Technologies, Nader was Senior Vice President of Strategy & Corporate Development at IMAX Corporation where he was responsible for strategic planning as well as leading various new business initiatives.

Alan Aubrey, Chief Executive of IP Group, said: "It is exciting to have completed our first spin-out from a US university with the University of Pennsylvania. Exyn Technologies is a great example of the kind of innovative technology, founded on ground-breaking science, that we look for and we’re delighted to have backed such a well-known team and look forward to supporting them and furthering our partnership with Penn.”

IP Group has an IP commercialisation partnership with the University of Pennsylvania and the Penn Center for Innovation (“PCI”) and works closely with PCI’s UPstart company formation programme ("UPstart") focussing on developing early-stage, proof of principle opportunities based on intellectual property developed at Penn.

The Group also has agreements with Columbia University and Princeton University and recently announced it had formed a pilot initiative with FedIMPACT to identify and develop early-stage technologies from a select group of US Department of Energy Laboratories.

For more information, please contact:

IP Group plc

Alan Aubrey, Chief Executive Officer

Liz Vaughan-Adams, Communications

+44 (0) 20 7444 0050

+44 (0) 20 7444 0062 / +44 (0) 7979 853 802

FTI Consulting
James Melville-Ross/Simon Conway/Victoria Foster Mitchell +44 (0)20 3727 1000

Notes for editors

About IP Group

IP Group is a leading UK intellectual property commercialisation company, developing technology innovations primarily from its research intensive partner universities. The Group offers more than traditional venture capital, providing its companies with access to business building expertise, networks, recruitment and business support.

IP Group's portfolio comprises holdings in around 90 early stage to mature businesses across the Healthcare, Biotech, Cleantech and Technology sectors. These businesses include Oxford Nanopore Technologies, the DNA sequencing development company, Revolymer, best known for its removable chewing gum, and Xeros, which has received many accolades for its revolutionary clothes washing techniques with a much reduced requirement for water.

For more information, please visit our website at

About the University of Pennsylvania

The University of Pennsylvania is an Ivy League institution with a longstanding reputation for excellence in graduate and professional education, with a number of its graduate and professional schools ranked at or near the top in their fields.