Edinburgh's Equity Gap calls on angel community to help drive Scotland's recovery

Business angel syndicate Equity Gap has built up a “healthy pipeline” of new investments after meeting the challenges of Covid-19 head on.

Jock Millican, founder and director of Equity Gap in Edinburgh and also chairman of the Linc Scotland angel capital association. Picture: First Light Photography

Celebrating its tenth anniversary, the Edinburgh-based investment group said its portfolio of more than 30 early stage businesses had created in excess of 400 jobs.

Despite the turbulence caused by the current pandemic, the syndicate completed 22 investments in the first half of 2020, with total member funds invested since inception topping £20 million.

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Equity Gap, which has grown from 15 to 150 members since its inception, recently added Aberdeen-based green tech start-up Trojan Energy to its portfolio as the firm secured an overall £4.1m round of seed funding to support the roll-out of its flat-and-flush electric vehicle charging points.

As the nation moves into what is likely to be a sustained period of recession, the syndicate’s directors said entrepreneurs and new businesses could play a significant part in rebooting the economy by creating employment opportunities, fuelling growth and driving future prosperity.

Jock Millican, founder and director of Equity Gap and also chairman of the Linc Scotland angel capital association, said: “We have worked hard to ensure continuity of business and investment through an unsettling time and this is reflected in our half-year figures.

“With a healthy pipeline of new investments, Equity Gap is well placed to continue to support young businesses through angel investment.

“It has never felt more important to support these fledgling organisations as we rebuild our economy.

“We are grateful to our syndicate members, who are now delivering more funding rounds to the emerging businesses within the portfolio than ever before.

“An increase in scale-up funding options for organisations with high growth potential is essential to help them realise their growth aspirations.

“Scotland’s angel investment community will continue to pull together to support our entrepreneurs.

“Overall figures from Q2 of 2020 show Scotland’s angel syndicates led 58 deals which totalled [almost] £41m with approximately 20 per cent of this investment going into new companies.”

Fraser Lusty, director, who joined Equity Gap shortly after it was established, added: “We have long been impressed by the quality and innovation delivered by our portfolio companies, but to see how many of these organisations have risen to the extraordinary challenges presented by the Covid-19 pandemic is nothing short of inspiring.

“The future has many uncertainties, but we are confident that we will further develop our own digital technologies to support our membership and portfolio.”

Earlier this year, the firm expanded its operations by hiring three more members of staff, taking the team to nine.

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