Kelvin Capital invests record £7.8m during first half of 2023
Scottish-based investment syndicate Kelvin Capital has concluded record investment totalling £7.8 million in the first half of 2023, marking a 22% increase from the same period in 2022.
These significant financial strides highlight the growing strength and appeal of Scottish based businesses, especially those involved in disruptive and pioneering technology.
The first six months of 2023 saw funding rounds – with co-investment from Scottish Enterprise – completed for five of its portfolio companies: WellFish Diagnostics, KultraLab, Dyneval, Peacock Technology and FreeFlow Technologies. In the same period in 2022 £6.4m was invested in its portfolio businesses.
In addition, the first two months of the second half of the year has seen a further £1.8m secured for three other portfolio companies: Innovatium, Sofant Technologies and Biotangents.
The investment group founded and managed by industry experts John McNicol, Angus Hay and Susie Fisher is chaired by Stuart McKee, the former global head of corporate finance for PWC. It has over 340 UK and international angel investors, a diverse portfolio of 20 investee companies and has secured investments of over £106m to date from its syndicate members and external co-investors.
Mr McKee, chairman of Kelvin Capital, said: “The quality of Scottish based businesses working in disruptive or pioneering technology continues to increase and we are thrilled to be backing them at the forefront of their global ambitions and journeys.
“Our investment activity continues to grow with the first half of 2023 raising the most for our portfolio businesses to date.
“Notably, the latest funding round concluded for WellFish Diagnostics, a business we have backed since early 2022, was oversubscribed and closed with new private equity investment coming from international investors based in London and Norway.”
Mr McNicol, director of Kelvin Capital, added: “As well as providing funding to exciting early-stage businesses in the Enabling Technologies, AgriTech, and Design & Manufacturing sectors, we also provide valuable industry expertise to companies’ boards from individuals from our membership and vast network with high level knowledge of the sectors to support and drive the companies’ growth ambitions.
“It is also notable that our portfolio of businesses is maturing from early stage companies into established and recognised international operators in their sectors.
“This can be illustrated by the impressive deals and agreements that are being secured across the world.”
The five companies that have received funding in the first half of 2023 have, since their inception, created 70 new, high quality full-time jobs, including KultraLab which has employed six in its new engineering team in Edinburgh, and plan to recruit for a further six roles upon securing additional funding. Dyneval, also in Edinburgh, has seen its team grow to 20 in just 18 months.
Kultralab, a behavioural science and AI coaching platform for large, global organisations to support the development of their workforce. Set up in 2021 and working in partnership with the University of Manchester with a technology and product development office in Edinburgh.
WellFish Diagnostics, an aquaculture technology business that has established a method to enable fish farmers to continually monitor the health of their fish population via blood sampling to improve welfare and profitability. The business is based in Paisley and is a spinout company from the University of the West of Scotland.
Dyneval, an agri-tech business based at Roslin Innovation Centre in Edinburgh that provides an easy-to-use, automated and portable instrument for semen analysis in the farming sector.
Peacock Technology, an advanced engineering, robotic, AI and vision technology business based in Stirling that focusses on data capture and insights in the dairy industry, providing key analytics to improve welfare, reduce antibiotic use and increase profits, whilst reducing the carbon footprint on farms.
FreeFlow Technologies, an East Kilbride based business designing and manufacturing compact eBike drive systems. The business is an OEM supplier of eBike motors to the global bike industry, providing a system that looks and rides like a normal bike with the aim of supplying high volume to blue chip bike manufacturers.
Other significant advances made by Kelvin Capital portfolio companies in the first half of 2023 include Sofant Technologies securing a development contract with Inmarsat (a provider of secure, global, mission-critical telecommunications to the US Government), Biotangents completing the first launch of its platform technology, with the first application to detect Bovine Viral Diarrhoea, with a second following in June to detect early signs of Mastitis, and ProFactor Pharma securing a licensing agreement with PT BioPharma in Indonesia, the leading vaccine manufacturer in Indonesia.