Par Equity launches investment network in Aberdeen
Par Equity, the venture capitalist, is extending its investor network by setting up a regional network in Aberdeen.
Chaired by Hugh Little, who for many years ran Aberdeen Asset Management’s private equity business, the network will be seeking to identify new investors, and to invest in early stage disruptive technology companies from Aberdeen and the surrounding area.
As chair of the new venture, Mr Little brings unparalleled business and investment knowledge amassed over 28 years at Aberdeen Asset Management, where he built the company’s successful private equity business before becoming Head of Acquisitions for 10 years. He was also a director of Aberdeen Football Club for 12 years and has been a non-executive director of several private equity-backed companies in the region.
The Par Equity Aberdeen network is supported by law firm Addleshaw Goddard, and accountancy firm AAB, who will join Mr Little as the eyes and ears of the initiative, spotting early stage opportunities and undertaking due diligence on potential investments.
Par Equity has a track record in Aberdeen that it hopes to expand on. Earlier this year it completed a £1.6m investment round with EC-OG, the Aberdeen subsea energy storage company, helping to create up to 40 jobs in the city and supporting future growth. Following three rounds of investment over three years, Par Equity also facilitated the 2013 sale of Star Net Geomatics to UTEC, resulting in a successful exit for its investors.
Operating a hybrid investment model, Par Equity combines its discretionary managed EIS Fund with the skills, expertise and contacts of its 200-strong investor network, who add value throughout the investment life cycle. 75% of investee companies have appointed a member of Par’s investment network to their boards. This investment strategy, fusing the experience of angel investors with the professionalism and rigour of a traditional venture capital fund manager, is part of a ‘turbocharge’ strategy for Par, delivering better outcomes for investors and entrepreneurs.
Mr Little said: “Despite what has happened this year, Aberdeen is an exciting place for business with plenty of life in it. As the market continues to move from traditional oil & gas exploration and extraction and its accompanying supply chain, to innovative high growth tech companies looking at carbon capture, renewables and zero emissions technology, the North East presents a significant investment opportunity. There are a wealth of innovators circling the energy ecosystem, and what they are working on now will dictate what the market looks like in the long term.
“Par Equity is keen to open up opportunities for those early stage companies by offering not only investment, but the right support and guidance to help them succeed.”
Paul Atkinson, partner at Par Equity, added: “We see huge potential in the Aberdeen market for investors to be part of some of the UK’s most exciting innovative firms. At Par we are hands-on investors, providing experience and knowledge, as well as financial support.
“Following our success with EC-OG and Star Net, we are looking forward to discovering more opportunities among Aberdeen’s young companies. Hugh will be key to our success in the North East, and his unrivalled knowledge of the local business landscape as well as his breadth of contacts makes Aberdeen the ideal place to begin our regional network strategy.”