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Confidence boost

Record VC funding ‘confirms quality of Scots scaleups’

Chris McCann and Stewart Whiting

Chris McCann and Stewart Whiting received VC funding before selling their business

Venture capital investors pumped record sums into Scottish scaleups over the summer as the rollout of the vaccine programme and reopening of the economy helped boost business confidence.

The rate of investment is seen as further evidence of the quality of businesses created north of the border.

Fifty-seven fast growth companies received £197 million in the third quarter, according to Venture Pulse, a quarterly report published by KPMG Private Enterprise.

Year-on-year, the 2021 Q3 figure of £71.6m was more than double the £32m invested in the same quarter in 2019.

Scotland’s largest deals during Q3 include Edinburgh-based remote healthcare developer, Current Health, which raised £32m in Series B funding led by Northpond Ventures. The firm was acquired in October by a listed US business.

Renewco Power, an Edinburgh-based developer of utility scale renewable power projects across Europe, attracted £24m from FTSE 100 energy company, SSE via Corran Capital.

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Snappy Shopper, a Dundee-based developer of a delivery app, raised £19.5m in Series A funding led by PayPoint.

Later stage deals continued to attract the most investment in Scotland, but interest in earlier stage deals grew with more businesses beginning to raise Series A and smaller rounds.

Amy Burnett, senior manager, KPMG private enterprise, said: “A busy summer of deals with growing levels of volume and investment has once again cemented Scotland’s credentials as an incubator and rapid developer of exciting, innovative businesses.

“As we emerge from the pandemic it’s clear to see that several scaleups have flourished in areas of growing consumer demand, including remote healthcare technology, home delivery services and renewables.

“Scotland’s vibrant tech community and highly skilled workforce continues to be a draw for investors hungry to invest in our pool of fast growth businesses.

“To maintain these record levels of investment, it’s important that we continue to support startups and scaleups to be as attractive as possible for VC investment, and to ensure their long-term growth.”

The rest of the UK also continued to deploy record amounts of money into UK scaleups with over £6.5 billion invested in Q3 2021.

While fintech was the hottest area of investment in the UK, other companies also attracted funding – such as flower delivery service Bloom & Wild (£125m).

Later stage deals involving well established scaleup businesses took the bulk of funding from VC investors, but seed deal value remained steady.



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