Energy industry gurus target fledgling Scottish tech firms with multi-million fund

Two top energy industry entrepreneurs are looking to provide a shot in the arm for fledgling Scottish technology enterprises after launching a multi-million-pound investment fund.

Doug Duguid was chief executive and Michael Buchan chief financial officer of EnerMech, which the pair founded in Aberdeen in 2008 and developed into a global engineering services company that was subsequently acquired by The Carlyle Group.

Doug Duguid was chief executive and Michael Buchan chief financial officer of EnerMech, which the pair founded in Aberdeen in 2008 and developed into a global engineering services company that was subsequently acquired by The Carlyle Group.

Previously, the two businessmen led pipeline and well interventions specialist PSL Energy Services, and grew it into a global venture which was acquired by Halliburton in a £128 million deal in 2007.

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They have now formed Indigo 7 Ventures (I7V), which will have a focus on start-up businesses specialising in environmental sustainability and energy transition. The pair have created a multi-million-pound fund which will invest upwards of six-figure sums in a stable of “innovative companies”.

They believe that their experience in sourcing finance, setting up businesses in different geographic locations, arranging international joint venture agreements and navigating tax and regulatory requirements will differentiate their investment company from traditional funders.

Alongside the fund, I7V is setting up its own renewables services, inspection and repair business in the wind, solar and hydrogen space, with a strategy aimed at establishing an international presence.

Duguid said: “The energy industry is changing and it is clear that over the next few decades we need to move away from traditional hydrocarbon production and manage energy transition into renewable sources.

“Michael and I have built two international businesses and have learned a lot of lessons, good and bad, along that journey.

“We believe that we can help new and emerging companies to avoid some of the pitfalls that befell us as we transformed those businesses into global players.

“The companies we will invest in will be able to draw on our considerable range of experience in operations, finance, fund raising, back office and HR, and can therefore concentrate on the really important stuff such as research and development and a successful market entry.”

He added: “It is often difficult to secure early-stage funding for new businesses, particularly in the current environment when the economy is taking a pounding. We have experienced those difficulties ourselves and therefore we are setting out our stall to be a more flexible type of investor.”

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