The move follows an agreement between British Business Investments, a commercial subsidiary of the British Business Bank, and Edinburgh-based venture capital outfit Par Equity.
A new £15m commitment from British Business Investments will be invested by Par Equity alongside the Par EIS Fund and the Par Investor Network to deliver some £75m of funding for scale-up businesses primarily in Scotland, the north of England, and Northern Ireland.
The £15m commitment from the Regional Angels Programme will help to drive further investment into “promising” scale-up businesses in those parts of the UK. The programme will also help with Par Equity’s follow-on investment activity.
Catherine Lewis La Torre, chief executive of British Business Investments, said: “Angel investors play a vital role in the economy, bringing patient capital, business experience and skills to support the growth of smaller businesses.
“Our Regional Angels Programme is designed to address regional imbalances in the availability of angel finance by increasing the capital available to smaller, high growth potential, businesses through angel networks.”
Paul Munn, managing partner of Par Equity, said: “Par Equity’s investment model, combining our EIS Fund with experienced business angel investors and co-investment capital, is a powerful recipe for providing patient capital.
“We already benefit from a flow of high quality investment opportunities and this commitment from the Regional Angels Programme will bring us increased financial firepower.
“At Par Equity we have long recognised and supported the opportunities offered by entrepreneurs and their companies based in the north. That philosophy is now in line with government thinking and this funding will enable us to leverage our network to find the best young companies to invest in, delivering value to them and the whole economy.”
The announcement came as Par Equity said it had completed a £1.6m investment into EC-OG, an Aberdeen-based company that has launched Halo, a power hub that provides autonomous energy management for subsea applications.
The investment will support a scale-up phase for the business, creating up to 40 jobs in Aberdeen over the coming 12 months.
Since it was founded in 2008, Par Equity has invested more than £70m in 57 companies and the portfolio has attracted in excess of £110m of further investment from third-party investors.
Launched in 2018, the Regional Angels Programme works by committing funds for investment alongside business angels and other early stage equity investors.
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