Top 40 SEP firms grow sales and jobs

THE 40 companies backed by venture capital firm Scottish Equity Partners (SEP) have shown significant growth in sales and job numbers.

SEP says revenues for its portfolio of companies in the year to the end of June were up 23 per cent while the firms collectively had seen their payrolls increase by 10 per cent.

Analysis conducted by SEP demonstrates that its portfolio companies have also had a considerable positive impact on the economy over the longer term.

In aggregate, companies backed by SEP since 2000 have created approximately 2,000 jobs and now generate more than 500 million annually.

Managing partner Calum Paterson said: "The last year has presented very tough challenges and impacted adversely on entrepreneurial and business confidence everywhere. We have been supporting our portfolio companies through the economic downturn, however, and have been impressed by their resilience."

He added: "Our portfolio companies are leading the way in a number of innovative technologies and are well-positioned to prosper as and when the economy picks up. We believe this is a good point in the cycle to invest, our appetite for deals is undiminished."

SEP is one of the largest and most active venture capital investors in Europe. New investments in the last 12 months included funding for data quality software company Clavis and growth capital for Cmed, which specialises in the capture and management of data for clinical trials.

This month SEP participated in a 6m funding round for Powervation, a leader in integrated circuit solutions for energy control and management in information processing systems.

SEP also led a 10m investment round in Virtensys last week, a fast-growing virtualisation company based in Manchester and Oregon which is targeting a market valued at more than 2.5 billion.

Paterson said: "Venture capital has an important role to play in stimulating economic growth. We're working hard to ensure our companies can continue to generate sales growth and to safeguard highly-skilled jobs at a difficult time for the economy."

The Glasgow-based firm invests throughout the UK and has also provided venture capital to companies in across Europe, with many of its investments having operations in the US.

SEP continues to have a strong presence in Scotland, with investments in high growth companies such as Daysoft, the contact lens specialist, search engine firm Skyscanner, multimedia networking leader Gigle, and IT analytics company Sumerian.