Oxford's spinout portfolio raised a record-breaking $1.1bn during the past fiscal year and is now 204-companies strong.

Oxford University Innovation (OUI), the tech transfer office of University of Oxford, launched 19 spinouts in the 2019-2020 fiscal year ending July 2020, equalling the amount it reported for 2018-19.

University of Oxford has now spun out a total of 204 businesses since its first, technology products supplier Oxford Instruments, in 1959.

PhishAR, an augmented reality-driven email security platform, became the institution’s 200th spinout when it was founded in July 2020. It joined Mastercard’s Start Path accelerator the following month.

OUI launched two new social enterprises in 2019-2020, substantially fewer than 10 per year set out when it unveiled its impact initiative in mid-2018.

The TTO’s portfolio attracted $1.1bn from external investors, almost doubling in dollar terms the $536m collected in 2018-19, and equating to 27% of the total raised since 2011. Five university-aligned startups were formed over the period.

However, its holdings lost around 10% of their $200m valuation as of July 2019, finishing 2019-20 at $181m.

OUI said the results exceeded its expectations at the beginning of the pandemic although it warned “choppy waters” could loom ahead.

The university captured an overall licensing return of $21.8m while providing 359 new inventions to sustain OUI’s innovation pipeline.

Adam Stoten, chief operating officer at OUI, said: “I am very proud how colleagues across the company have stepped up to support the university’s effort on covid-19.

“Since the pandemic began, we have witnessed a surge in demand for support from colleagues in licensing and ventures, who have helped academics developing covid 19-related technologies such as world-leading vaccines, novel diagnostics and low-cost ventilators.”

OUI dedicated its annual review to the memory of Jamie Ferguson, its deputy head of physical sciences who passed away on August 22, 2020.