Covid-19 drives investors into life sciences sector
Investor interest in healthcare technology was driven higher during the Covid-19 pandemic and made life sciences the most popular destination for equity investment in Scottish tech startups, according to analysis from the British Business Bank.
The Bank found that investment in Scotland’s smaller life sciences companies reached £61 million during the first nine months of 2021 – 42% higher than the figure for the whole of 2020 (£43m).
Equity investment into smaller businesses in the Scottish tech sector as a whole reached £163m by the end of the third quarter of 2021, 36% higher than 2020’s total of £121m.
Life sciences was ahead of software, representing 37% of the total figure. Software accounted for £37m, a 23% share, during the nine months to the end of September 2021 – on track to exceed the £43m total for 2020.
During the build up to Glasgow hosting the COP26 UN climate change conference last November, smaller businesses in the clean technology sector attracted £24m – up fourfold on the £6m recorded during 2020, with data from the final three months of 2021 still to be captured.
The findings follow the British Business Bank’s Small Business Finance Markets report, which recently found that total equity investment in Scotland’s smaller businesses had reached £403m during the first three quarters of 2021 – exceeding the entire previous year’s £279m by 44%.
Mark Sterritt, UK network director, Scotland at the British Business Bank, said: “It is highly encouraging to see a significant increase to equity investment in Scotland’s smaller tech businesses.
“These are the high-growth, innovative companies that will help drive the wider economy in the years ahead and that they are looking to equity as a way of funding recovery and growth points towards a renewed sense of optimism after a highly challenging 2020.”