Scots firms get £98m venture capital investment in Q1

Amy Burnett

The latest KPMG Private Enterprise Venture Pulse report reveals that 19 firms in Scotland shared £98 million in venture capital (VC) investment in the opening quarter of 2024.

That’s an increase on Q1 of 2023 when 14 firms shared around £70 million – at the time a three year low.

Standout deals completed during the first three months of 2024 included the investments made in agriculture tech firm Intelligent Growth Solutions Limited (£28.6 million) and electric and tech focused public transport company Ember (£13.9 million).

Both firms are based in Edinburgh.

It was recently revealed that over £359 million was invested in Scotland last year across 115 businesses of all shapes and sizes.

Amy Burnett, KPMG Private Enterprise Senior Manager in Scotland, said: “While it is great to see positive figures in Scotland when compared to last year, the latest survey result should be considered with a note of caution.

“All firms are operating in a fluctuating market and, with elections across the globe this year, we are likely to see a unstable / quieter / VC market in the coming three quarters.

“However, all firms involved deserve a strong round of applause for showcasing that Scotland is ripe and attractive when it comes to investment.”

Graeme Williams, Head of Corporate Finance M&A for Scotland, KPMG UK, said: “These are strong figures to start the new financial year and a real fillip for Scotland when compared to the rest of the UK.

“As said following the results from the whole of the last financial year, looking ahead, it’s likely that venture capital investment will remain stable at the very least in the face of challenges such as geopolitical complexities.

“However, from the deals that we have seen take place, there is evidently still strong interest in Scottish firms and investing in them.”

Elsewhere in the UK, the survey showed that VC investment into UK businesses continued to slide in the opening quarter for 2024, falling to levels last seen in 2018.

Coming off the back of near £4.9 billion raised by UK businesses in the last quarter of 2023, around £3 billion in funding was raised in Q1 of 2024 — the lowest amount seen in 22 quarters.

UL deal volumes were also down with the Venture Pulse report recording just 519 UK deals completed in the period, levels not seen since 2016.

While deal volume was very subdued, deal sizes remained quite healthy as VC investors focused their funds on the most promising startups.