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New scale-up fund for high-growth tech firms

Jimmy Williamson (the Bank) with Andrew Noble and Paul Munn from Par Equity.


A major new source of finance will soon be available to accelerate some of Scotland and the North of the UK’s most promising tech scale-ups.

The Par Equity Ventures LLP fund has been designed to support ambitious technology companies by providing necessary capital and strengthen the talent pools in the region.

Backed by £20million cornerstone funding from the Scottish National Investment Bank, along with £25 million funding from the Strathclyde Pension Fund, it has secured a first close of £67m.

The fund is a significant boost to the prospects of scale-up companies in Scotland, coinciding with a more challenging fundraising environment for tech firms. Access to funding was highlighted as a barrier to the sector reaching its full potential in Mark Logan’s Review of the Scottish tech ecosystem.

The venture capital firm seeks to partner with early-stage companies, operating B2B business models and with strong IP. Many of these companies are innovating in the fields of health tech, climate tech and industrial tech, often driven by new technologies such as robotics, photonics, advanced materials and artificial intelligence.

On the fund’s launch, Paul Munn, Managing Partner at Par Equity said: ” We are delighted to announce the fund to accelerate innovation in Scotland and the North of the UK. Championing Scottish talent has been our aim since we launched Par Equity, and we firmly believe in the potential to nurture successful leaders right here in Scotland.”

Andrew Noble, Partner at Par Equity, who led the fund’s launch, added: “ We are surrounded by incredible innovation, and we must now turn these fledgling start-ups into global category leaders. We look forward to working with these companies to unlock those ambitions.”

Jimmy Williamson, Executive Director at Scottish National Investment Bank said: “ The Bank’s cornerstone investment will enable significant access to crucial scale-up funding to drive growth in the Scottish tech sector, delivering real impact by catalysing innovation and supporting the critical development of the locally-based venture capital industry

“Working with Par and its new fund is complementary and additive to the Bank’s own direct investing activities and directly aligns with our mission to harness innovation, investing in the industries of the future.”

Scottish Cabinet Secretary for Wellbeing Economy, Fair Work and Energy, Neil Gray said: “ Increasing the investment available to Scottish businesses represents an important step towards achieving our vision of becoming one of Europe’s leading start-up economies. I welcome this announcement and recognise the benefits it will have both to innovative companies and our wider ecosystem.”

Mark Logan, Chief Entrepreneurial Advisor to Scottish Government added: “ Scotland’s tech sector produces an ever-larger number of high-quality tech start-ups, but the ecosystem has been previously constrained by a lack of focus on the region from VCs able to provide scaling capital.

“A key recommendation of the Scottish Technology Ecosystem Review was therefore to provide a major stimulus in this area through public-private partnership. That stimulus has just arrived, and it’s a breakthrough moment for Scotland. Par Equity has again demonstrated its commitment to supporting the nation’s start-up ecosystem through its leadership in securing this scale-up fund.”