New research

Equity investment in Scotland hits new record

Kerry Sharp
Kerry Sharp: Scotland punching above its weight

Equity investment secured by Scottish businesses reached a record £953 million in 2022, an increase of 26% from £754m in the previous 12 months.

The Risk Capital Market report based on Beauhurst data confirms that Scotland’s investment market has retained its position as one of the best performing across the nations and regions of the UK.

It is surpassed only by the ‘Golden Triangle’ of London, the South-East and East of England, for both deal numbers and amount raised.

Despite a modest fall in the number of deals completed (407 in 2022 compared with 424 in 2021), the value of investment secured was bolstered by a number of large deals valued at £50m plus which delivered the record investment value in the year.

Scotland’s strengths include investment into spinouts and a growing number of companies attracting later stage and international investment.

Spinouts from Scottish universities continued to attract significant investment with £235 million secured by 58 spinouts making it a record year for spinout value, up 53% on 2021 (£154m).

Participation by venture capitalists again placed Scotland after the Golden Triangle.

Kerry Sharp, director of entrepreneurship and investment at Scottish Enterprise, said: “This latest research shows that Scotland continues to punch above its weight in securing significant investment for its most innovative and ambitious companies.

“Despite these positive headline figures, given the economic headwinds, the risk capital market is facing some challenges.

“We saw investor sentiment impact on market activity in the second half of 2022 and this is likely to continue well into 2023.

“Many equity investors are focusing on the needs of existing portfolios and they are becoming increasingly selective and are showing signs of changing risk appetites.

“That, coupled with deals taking on average five months longer, is inevitably making it harder for start-ups and early-stage companies to secure the funding that they need.”

This year marks the 20th anniversary of Scottish Enterprise’s co-investment model which was introduced to act as a catalyst for investment into early-stage high growth potential companies.

Since then, its equity funds have leveraged over £2 billion of private investment into Scottish companies.

Ms Sharp said: “It is extremely gratifying to see many of our investee companies go from strength to strength through this investment and also the advice and support that is made available to entrepreneurs and young companies here in Scotland.

“Despite the market pressures, there is still significant capital available to invest in great opportunities and Scottish Enterprise is committed to working with private sector investors to create a pipeline of young innovative early-stage companies creating solutions for the future, jobs, wealth and wellbeing for the people of Scotland.”

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