Firms drawn to Scotland

Incomers account for majority at EIE20 investor event

Danny Helson, Julie Grieve and Bob Keiller

Technology investment event EIE20 will feature its biggest ever cohort of overseas ventures which have chosen to locate in Scotland.

Informatics Ventures says companies from four continents account for the majority of the 50 high-growth companies that will pitch to UK and international investors this year.

EIE has supported more than 400 tech firms since the first event in 2008, helping to raise in excess of £700 million from seed funding through to Series A and later stage backing.

The latest cohort is drawn from the energy, climate, cleantech, cybersecurity, fintech and digital health sectors. The firms will pitch to investors on 23 April.

Danny Helson, programme manager at Informatics Ventures, said: “We’ve got companies from four continents this year which is a reflection of the global reach of EIE and speaks volumes as to how far Scotland has come as a technology hub, attracting startup founders and investors from across the globe. Edinburgh in particular is fast-becoming one of Europe’s main data capitals.”

EIE alumni companies include Current Health (which announced a £9 million Series A round in December), Float, pureLiFi, Good-Loop, Cyan Forensics, Two Big Ears (acquired by Facebook in 2016) and mLed.  

One former alumnus company appearing again at this year’s EIE is Criton, an Edinburgh-headquartered travel tech startup.

Criton CEO and Founder Julie Grieve said: “Having gone through EIE17 before going on to raise £5 million later that year, there’s no doubt in my mind that the programme helped us to secure funding. 

“I’m back for EIE20 to kick off our next fundraise planned for later this year.  We are so fortunate in Scotland that there is such an amazing ecosystem and support for startups and scale-ups.”

Former chairman of Entrepreneurial Exchange and Scottish Enterprise, Bob Keiller said: “EIE is transformational. It provides a unique opportunity for so many ambitious Scottish companies to meet with hundreds of potential investors and seek the investment that can transform their futures.”

Full list of companies at EIE20

Scottish firms named tech pioneers

Three start-ups have been crowned ‘Scotland’s tech pioneers’ and will now head to London to take part in the UK heat of KPMG’s Best British Tech Pioneer competition.

Edinburgh-based Cyan Forensics, Intelligent Growth Solutions, from Invergowrie, and Glasgow’s Clinspec Diagnostics demonstrated unique product innovation, market potential and a passion for international expansion.

Entrepreneurs from a shortlist of 11 companies were invited to pitch to a panel of judges: Chris Gauld, partner at digital due diligence firm D3; Matt Little, founder and CEO of Blue Ocean Insight; Ishbel MacPherson from Scotland Women in Technology; Tony Robison, partner at Scottish Equity Partners in Technology; and James Kergon and Amy Burnett from KPMG.

The three businesses will now prepare to pitch alongside 13 other businesses in front of an audience of investors and specialists in London next month. If they’re successful, they’ll flow out to Mobile World Congress in Barcelona where they will be able to demonstrate their product and make one final pitch to an international audience.

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