Bulletin of Industry
Par Equity, the Edinburgh-based investment manager investing in high-growth potential early-stage technology firms, raised its new investment to a record £ 12.4 million in 2020.
The company has continued its string of profitable exits amid the struggles of a year dominated by Covid-19, ensuring it has now returned money to investors every year since 2013.
At year-end, 35 investment transactions were completed by Par in 12 months, a new high for 2019.
SICCAR, an IT technology company that allows organizations to exchange information safely, such as in healthcare, and Integrated Graphene, an advanced materials company that has developed and patented a way to manufacture 3D graphene mass at low cost, were new additions to the portfolio.
The Scottish laser business is gearing up for quantum advancement.
The year also included the announcement of an investment agreement of £ 75 million with British Business Investments (BBI), in which Par became part of the regional angel network and made its first investment in EC-OG, a renewable underwater energy specialist based in Aberdeen.
Par’s long-standing partnership with the Scottish Investment Bank (SIB), for which he is one of the largest and most involved co-investors, is complemented by the BBI contract.
These investments carry the total number of Par Equity-supported companies to more than 60, more than 20 of which have now exited.
Symphonic, initially a spin-out from Edinburgh Napier University, included exits in the last twelve months. The software firm, which allows businesses to monitor access to sensitive information, was sold to Ping Identity, the US cybersecurity chief. Over two rounds of investment, the sale produced an 8.3x return for the Par EIS Fund.
DeltaDNA, initially in 2019, continued to offer value to investors in the form of the acquirer’s shares, NYSE-listed Unity Technologies, another exit. The selling of DeltaDNA, which helps developers of video games evaluate and personalize gamers’ interactions in real time, is currently offering investors a return of 17.2x.
Par is raising its profile and credibility across the UK as one of the’ go to’ VCs with these very encouraging exits, particularly for tech companies in the North of the UK. Par was named one of the U.K.’s biggest growth investors in late 2020. He took second place in the Best EIS Fund Manager of the Year category at the EIS Association Awards, also in London, at the Growth Investor Awards in London.
Another record year of investment activity, Andrew Noble, Partner at Par Equity, said, “Another record year of investment activity means that investors continue to put their faith in us as managers and young tech companies are getting much needed capital to grow their businesses. That’s good news, of course, but more importantly, it means the companies we support are growing quickly, hiring top talent, and ultimately securing a successful return for all shareholders. In this respect, 2020 has been a great success as we approach £100 million in realizations for our investors.”
“Par Equity is absolutely focused on finding and supporting the best new technology companies in Scotland, Northern Ireland and the North of England. In 2020, we strengthened our business model by recruiting new staff and launching new initiatives such as our headhunter panel, university partnerships and our regional investor network programs. As a result, we have laid a strong foundation for growth in 2021.”Par Equity is entirely focused on finding and supporting the best new technology companies in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Northern England. By recruiting new employees and launching new initiatives such as our headhunter panel, university partnerships and our regional investor network programs in 2020, we strengthened our business model.
Deputy Chief Executive, Richard Muir, Glasgow Chamber of Commerce
After Brexit, corporations face a greater bureaucratic barrier.
I actually managed to read a few books and catch up on shows I’ve been waiting to watch for a while, as normal during the vacation season, including a great documentary starring Michael Caine about the Swinging Sixties and their influence in the early Seventies.
Caine ended with the line “Don’t look back in anger, look forward in hope,” which could also refer to this period.
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