Growth support

Record year for LINC Scotland angel investors

Spoonfed’s founders Murray McNicol and Willie Biggart decided on a trade sale

Deals led by angel syndicate members of LINC Scotland last year hit a new record of £146 million, 70% ahead of the previous highest total of £86m in 2019.

The figure was double the amount raised last year with several angel groups reporting their busiest ever year.

Archangels made 11 investments, totalling £23.7m, an increase of 44% over 2020.

Par Equity more than doubled its investment, deploying £25m, against £12m in the previous year, with six new investments and follow-on finance for 21 companies.

Equity Gap has reached a £25m investment milestone following its most successful year to date, leveraging additional funding of over £100m for investee companies since its launch.

LINC Scotland membership includes 21 syndicates, which together invested 50% more in 2021 than in 2019, with contributions averaging £470k, 80% higher than in 2019.

Syndicates were successful in bringing external co-investors into their deals – corporate investors, venture capital firms, other angel groups, and other institutional investors, many from outside the UK. 

These co-investors contributed 54% of the total amounts raised in 2021, with an average investment of £1.7m, almost double the 2019 level.

Support from public sector investors, chiefly Scottish Enterprise, stayed constant throughout this period, at approximately 20% of the total.

In a strong year for recycling of capital across the sector, LINC syndicates benefited from two exceptional exits:

  • Par Equity exited its investment in Current Health in October when the company was acquired by US-listed Best Buy Inc. for $400m. Par led the company’s first external investment round in 2016, and ultimately achieved an 80% internal rate of return (IRR) for the syndicate.
  • The trade sale in December of Spoonfed to 365 Retail Markets, backed by Providence Equity Partners, delivered returns for 31 of Equity Gap’s members, including seven of the original founder members.

In the latest deal, Intelligent energy management and storage technologies specialist, Verlume, has received a £2.5m investment from a consortium led by Par Equity, supported by Orchard Venture Capital and Scottish Enterprise.

Aberdeen-based Verlume offers a suite of products and services across the underwater, offshore and onshore sectors, helping clients to reduce carbon footprint and decarbonise operations. 

The investment will help it rapidly accelerate its growth as it consolidates its position at the forefront of the energy transition in these sectors. Verlume was previously known as EC-OG and its new branding will underpin the company’s business development strategy.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked as *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.