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Growth-hungry scale-ups retain appetite for VC funds

Amy Burnett

Amy Burnett: ‘the mood is generally positive’

Despite ongoing economic uncertainty, the value of venture capital (VC) investment in Scottish scale-ups increased in the third of quarter.

Between July and September of this year, the number of VC deals fell from 22 in Q2 to 17, but the combined value rose from at least £62 million to £71.6m.

The data, compiled by PitchBook for KPMG Private Enterprise’s Global Venture Pulse Survey, also compares favourably to the same period last year. In Q3 2019, there were 13 deals valued at about £32m.

For the second quarter in a row, Edinburgh’s booming scale-up community took the lion’s share of funding support, with nine deals with a combined value of at least £56.5m.

The quarter’s largest deal involved the games developer Everywhere, which is planning to develop a new game under the same title.

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Based in the capital, the company raised £32.7m of venture funding from NetEase, Makers Fund and Galaxy Interactive, putting its pre-money valuation at £111.4m. Other deals including funding for a raft of innovative new products from biomedical developments to clean energy solutions.  

Commenting on the latest data, Amy Burnett, senior manager with KPMG’s private enterprise emerging giants team in Scotland, said: “The latest set of data reinforces the resilience of the country’s growth-hungry scale-ups and the confidence investors have in the Scottish market.

“However, the slight dip in deal volume suggests that investors are, understandably, slightly more cautious, investing in late-stage deals, which could have a long-term negative impact on entrepreneurial businesses and founders that require investment and support to take their products and operations to the next level.

“There’s undoubtedly more uncertainty ahead, but the mood right now is generally positive with both scale-ups and investors appearing committed to focusing on long term growth.”

Across the UK both deal volume and value are down, with a total of 294 deals valued at £2.3 billion in Q3, down from 355 valued at £2.6 billion in Q2. However, despite the drop, industry observers believe the market has remained resilient in the face of unprecedented challenge.



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