Nearly £900m invested by private capital firms in Scotland, finds new report

Nearly £900m invested by private capital firms in Scotland, finds new report

Nearly £900m pounds (£895m) was invested into businesses in Scotland by private capital firms in 2021, a new report has set out.

This amount represents a strong increase on previous years, with £213m and £271m invested in 2020 and 2019 respectively, highlighting an industry that is fully awake to the opportunities Scotland has to offer.

This investment is powering SMEs across Scotland, with nine in ten businesses supported here employing 250 or fewer people.

Statistics in the report go on to show that, of all UK businesses backed by private equity and venture capital in 2021, 7% (88 of 1319) were located in Scotland.

Additionally, tech was the most attractive area for investment in 2021, with 65% (57 of 88) businesses operating in this sector.

Produced by the British Private Equity and Venture Capital Association (BVCA), its ‘Nations & Regions’ report looks at investment activity across Scotland – identifying the country as a growing hotspot for private capital activity.

It uses data and case studies gathered from across the BVCA’s membership to provide an in-depth look at how they support businesses across the regions to grow with capital, management expertise and long-term partnerships. It also includes analysis on Scotland’s blossoming tech ecosystem, what more can be done to support the country meet its full potential for investment, and features commentary from the Scottish National Investment Bank.

Michael Moore, BVCA director general, said: “Private capital firms are alive to the many remarkable opportunities Scotland has to offer – be it the emerging tech start-ups in cities like Edinburgh and Glasgow, the world-leading research-led businesses growing out of the country’s universities or the already-established companies with scope to flourish at a global scale.”

“Private equity and venture capital can, and are, helping these businesses to thrive. Together we’re creating jobs, encouraging individuals and communities to succeed, and supporting policy aims set by both the Scottish and UK governments on sustainable economic growth.”

The report also comprises a number of new case studies, looking in detail at some of the exciting, innovative and growing success stories supported by BVCA members across Scotland.

These include:

  • Cyacomb, based in Edinburgh and supported by Par Equity, which uses its cutting-edge technology to sift through harmful online content at scale, assisting law enforcement, cloud-based companies and social media to find, block and remove harmful content at speed.
  • Mironid, based in Glasgow and supported by Epidarex Capital, which began life as a research project in Heriot Watt University and the University of Strathclyde. The company develops cell-signalling drugs, with a particular focus on rare genetic kidney disease and major inflammatory diseases.
  • Modulr, a fintech that helps digital business process payments quickly and efficiently. Despite being based in London, Modulr invested £20m into the Scottish fintech industry – confirming Modulr’s ambition to radically transform SME banking and its belief in Scottish tech talent to help achieve this vision. The company’s Edinburgh office is now at the heart of the Modulr operation. By far the majority of its near 500 employees are based in the Scottish capital.
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