Funding for high-growth Scottish firms takes a tumble

Funding for ambitious companies in Scotland is lagging behind the UK’s progress, according to a study by high-growth specialist Beauhurst.

Beauhurst reports that BrewDog has raised the most equity investment of any high-growth Scottish company in recent years. Picture: contributed

While the UK is on track for record investment in 2019, funding for high-growth companies north of the Border is unlikely to match last year’s £261 million total, with just £99.2m raised in the first half.

The report shows there are more than 1,900 “active, ambitious” companies in Scotland, representing 8 per cent of the UK’s total.

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Scotland is also home to a disproportionately high number of spin-outs, at 14 per cent of the nationwide total, driven by innovative start-ups emerging from the universities of Edinburgh and Strathclyde.

Beauhurst reported that evolved government bodies are the most frequent investors in Scotland, with Scottish Enterprise steaming ahead as themost active investor in Scottish companies in 2018, backing 101 deals.

Angel investors are also "incredibly active" in Scotland and usually back the same number of deals, if not more, as private equity and venture capital funds.

Edinburgh and Glasgow led the way with the lion's share of investment, together accounting for more than 50 per cent of total funding for Scottish companies since 2012.

However, the top Scottish companies in terms of overall equity investment raised are based in Aberdeen, namely Brewdog (£272m), Sparrows (£100m) and TauRx Pharmaceuticals (£88m).