Growth support

LINC Scotland angels pass £50m milestone

Pneumagen is among the firms backed

Members of LINC Scotland, the national business angel group, invested more than £50 million in young companies in Scotland for the first time.

This was an increase of 20% on the total invested in 2021, and an 86% rise on 2019, the last full pandemic-free year.

Members contributed to a total of £117.4m invested in 2022, with co-investment from other private sources (£33.5m) and public sector agencies, mainly Scottish Enterprise and the Scottish National Investment Bank (together £33.8m).

This is the fourth consecutive year that the angel groups have substantially increased their support for early stage companies in Scotland.

Over the same period, the annual totals including co-investors and the public sector have expanded by 37%, from £85.8 million in 2019.

Among the deals supported were respiratory drug developer Pneumagen (£5.2m), Snappy Shopper (£3m), and ShotScope (£2.2m). In each of these cases the angel groups concerned had supported the company at an earlier stage and helped introduce new institutional or corporate investors.

Although there were no exits last year as large as that of Current Health (acquired for $400 million in 2021), several angel groups were able to provide their members with proceeds from trade sales, including those of IRT Surveys, Money Dashboard, Sharktower AI, CuanTec, and the IPO on NASDAQ of TC BioPharm.

David Grahame, LINC’s executive director, commented “Business angels necessarily take a long-term view rather than overreacting to current events, and it is good to see our members actually further increasing their commitment to supporting Scotland’s most exciting young companies.

“At the same time the increasing range of institutional and other co-investors is an encouraging sign of a maturing ecosystem.”

The supply of risk capital to the Scottish market remains strong. KPMG this week reported a total of £705m VC investment in Scottish companies in 2022..

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