Scotland’s national enterprise agency, which has invested in early-stage businesses since 2003, alongside local, national, and international private sector entrepreneurs, invested a record £50.71 million into 102 early-stage high growth opportunities.
This helped leverage a further £257 million from private sector investors, resulting in over £307 million of growth finance for innovative, ambitious early-stage Scottish businesses last year.
2021/22 proved to be the strongest on record for attracting international co-investment too, with more than half of the finance leveraged coming from global Venture Capital firms and corporate investors.
This was as a result of ongoing work to build investor networks internationally, complementing the work of the SNP Government’s Global Investment Plan, and underlines the vibrancy of Scotland’s investment market and the international appeal of Scottish companies.
There was also an increase in businesses continuing to grow under new ownership, having successfully reached the stage where exit opportunities are available for early investors - allowing Scottish Enterprise to generate £106 million of income.
Adrian Gillespie, Scottish Enterprise Chief Executive said:
“Last year was an exceptional year for our early-stage investment activities. Not only did we see a healthy number of deals, our maturing portfolio of investee companies saw strong exit opportunities allowing us to generate significant income to re-invest in the economy.
“It’s hugely gratifying to see the businesses we work with go from strength to strength, attracting further investment, developing innovative products, services, and business models, providing high value employment opportunities right across Scotland.”
Kenneth Gibson MSP added:
“The SNP Government recognises the importance of inward investment, which is why it has put in place the Global Capital Investment Plan, the Inward Investment Plan and the Export Growth Plan.
“A key Scottish Enterprise priority is ensuring that early-stage entrepreneurial companies with high growth potential can access the finance they need to start up and grow.
“Alongside co-investment, Scottish Enterprise also provides specialist, tailored advice and funding support to identify investors and to raise finance through its Financial Readiness Service. A whopping 269 companies were supported by this service last year to successfully raise external finance so they can blossom over the years to come.”