Private capital firms invest £895m in Scotland

Michael Moore

Private equity and venture capital firms invested £895 million into businesses in Scotland in 2021, according to a new report produced by the British Private Equity and Venture Capital Association (BVCA).

This was a huge increase on previous years, with £213 million and £271 million invested in 2020 and 2019 respectively.

Of all UK businesses backed by private equity and venture capital in 2021, 88 out of 1,319 or 7%, were located in Scotland.

Tech was the most attractive area for investment in 2021, with 65% of the businesses operating in this sector.

The BVCA “Nations & Regions” report looks at investment activity across Scotland.

BVCA Director General Michael Moore 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.”

Companies supported by BVCA members have included:

  • 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 £20 million 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.