2021 a record year
Par Equity investments hit £100m milestone
Paul Munn and Andrew Noble
Venture capital firm Par Equity has seen its investments in high-growth technology businesses smash through the £100 million mark following the completion of five deals last month.
Following a series of recent investments, the Edinburgh-based firm now holds 43 companies in its portfolio, including Cumulus (Belfast), Nova Pangea Technologies (Middlesbrough), Integrated Graphene (Stirling) and Novosound (Glasgow).
It also invested in London-based Artus, a spin-out from engineering group Arup, which is seeking to revolutionise the heating and air conditioning industry.
Par Equity investors have received proceeds from the sale of its portfolio companies every year since 2013 and expects 2021 to be its most successful year yet following the sale last month of Current Health, a care-at-home technology platform, to listed US business Best Buy for a substantial, but as-yet undisclosed sum.
As an early-stage investor, Par often supports businesses through multiple rounds of funding. These are frequently led by its discretionary managed EIS fund and further supported by Par’s active and engaged investor network who provide additional capital and expertise.
By ‘wrapping’ sophisticated angel investors around a traditional venture capital model the firm augments its investment capabilities and believes it can deliver better outcomes for entrepreneurs and investors.
Partner Andrew Noble said: “Over the past few years we’ve seen the confluence of a maturing, successful portfolio and an accelerating technology M&A market, and because we often see a recycling of capital and talent, successful exits like Current Health have the potential to sling-shot exciting new ventures, like Artus, onto greater things.”
He added: “As investors in the next generation of tech talent, we seek to evolve our investment criteria and ways of working to find and build exciting companies.
“For example, when it comes to ESG we’ve developed a new initiative, ESG_VC, with several of our peers to help early-stage companies measure, monitor and improve their ESG credentials. The associated framework is supported by more than 100 VCs in the UK, Europe and the US.”
Over the last nine years Par has launched and managed two commercial forestry investment vehicles, building a strong profile in this asset class.
Paul Munn, managing partner, said: “Commercial forestry as an alternative asset class has an exciting future, with accelerating interest due to the carbon sequestration potential and the launch of tradable carbon credits. As governments, businesses and consumers adopt a net zero mindset, commercial forestry is likely to play a critical role in achieving the targets they set.
“Crossing the £100m mark for money deployed into young technology companies is a fantastic achievement. I’m grateful to everyone in the Par community for the work they’ve put in over the past 13 years.
“We’ve built a strong platform for growth and we are excited about our future investment opportunities, both in terms of our venture capital and commercial forestry interests.”