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Deals rising

Investors from overseas drawn to Scots innovation

Paula Skinner

Paula Skinner: Scotland is hotbed of innovation

Law firm Harper Macleod said the past year had seen a sharp increase in support from overseas investors for entrepreneurs in Scotland.

The firm closed 61 deals worth more than £50 million in the 12 months to March 2021. The number of deals represented a 42% increase on the previous year.

Almost 80% of those deals were in the entrepreneurial and high-growth sector which enjoyed an even more pronounced spike in activity, on the previous financial year from 22 deals to 49.

More than half of the overall value of deals, around £28m, has come in 2021 alone, while there is an increasing number of investors from outwith Scotland.

Paula Skinner, partner and head of the entrepreneurial and investment team at Harper Macleod, said: “Despite everything that has happened, the faith of investors in growing Scottish businesses has stayed strong and I think this bodes well for the future.

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“It’s only by having a thriving generation of high-growth businesses that we can create the next big success story and it’s a real barometer of the health of our economy that support at this level has held up.

“The fact that many of these investors are international also says a lot about the way in which Scotland is viewed as a hotbed of innovation.”

Tech sectors, particularly technology that has a positive impact on society, were by far the most active, representing almost two-thirds of the investments closed in 2020/21.

Joining them in the top three were food, leisure & hospitality – despite the impact of the pandemic – and healthcare & life sciences.

EIE success for Ionburst

Data protection startup ionburst delivered Pitch of the Day at tech investor conference EIE21. 

The Edinburgh-headquartered company’s technology platform addresses data leaks in the clouds for SMEs and larger corporates at a time when hackers and ransomware are becoming more prevalent worldwide. 

Ionburst CFO Anne Lanc, a former treasury director at BlackRock, said: “The standard of competition was incredibly high, and now that EIE has showcased us we look forward to speaking to investors that want to help us build a global business.” 

Ionburst was voted best pitch against Earth Blox, Bridgeweave, Net AI, iOPt, Libereat, Beta Bug, Nebu-Flow, Transwap and GoBubble.



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