The organisation said that in 2021 its members invested £4m across 28 funding rounds, leveraging a total of £34m into investee companies.
Key funding partners include Scottish Enterprise, SIS Ventures, Alba Equity, Archangels, Kelvin Capital, Par Equity, Foresight Group, and, for the first time, the Scottish National Investment Bank.
It added that the recent multi-million-pound trade sale of Spoonfed to 365 Retail Markets, backed by Providence Equity Partners, delivered returns for 31 of the syndicate’s members, including seven of the original founder members.
Equity Gap’s portfolio now stands at 37 companies, including new 2021 investees Brewgooder, Pneumagen, PneumoWave, Quickblock, Sharktower and UlemCo. It added that 90 per cent of new companies it has funded in the last two years either operate in the cleantech sectors or offer new services in healthcare, “reflecting growing investor interest in sustainability-driven businesses”.
Additionally, Equity Gap this year became a signatory of the Investing in Women code, saying it continues to support and advocate for female entrepreneurs and investors. The syndicate also established a Leaders Club for founders and CEOs to help build knowledge-sharing and peer collaboration.
Leah Hutcheon, founder of Equity Gap portfolio company Appointedd, said: “Pitching to Equity Gap’s diverse board of investors has always made us feel at ease, and we really appreciate the help and support we get from collaborating with such a varied portfolio of companies. We have been particularly impressed by the work Equity Gap does to encourage networking and cooperation between its portfolio companies.”
Portfolio company highlights in 2021 include thermal storage specialist Sunamp securing contracts in China and the US worth in excess of £50m; electric-vehicle-charging business Energy winning the Early Stage Deal of the Year at the Deal and Dealmakers awards; and significant scale-up activity across the portfolio.
The organisation said it moves into 2022 with eight pipeline funding rounds valued at more than £10m due to complete in the first quarter, and more potential exits in development.
Fraser Lusty, Equity Gap director, stated: “2021 has seen outstanding progress from companies across our portfolio, culminating in the Spoonfed exit. We already have a strong pipeline of commercial traction and fundraising to build on this success in 2022 and beyond.”
It added that its investments to date have leveraged additional funding of more than £100m for investee companies, helping create at least 500 high-quality jobs in Scotland, worth around £20m each year to the Scottish economy.
The angel investment syndicate last month unveiled key board appointments, as it looked to expand its relationships with next-stage funders and enhance exit capability.
The organisation was set up by director and former Scotland rugby international Jock Millican in 2010 with 15 members who wanted to put something back into the Scottish economy. “Our aim was to help companies grow, hopefully make a return on our investments, and have some fun along the way,” he has previously said.