Par Equity leads two-day investment deal bonanza

Par Equity partner Paul Munn said the firm's investment in hardware companies differentiates it from other financial backers. Picture: Contributed
Par Equity partner Paul Munn said the firm's investment in hardware companies differentiates it from other financial backers. Picture: Contributed
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Venture capital firm Par Equity has closed investments worth almost £5 million over a two-day spell.

The Edinburgh-based firm led funding rounds worth a combined £4.85m over two days at the end of December, partnering with the Scottish Investment Bank on all of the five deals.

Of the total amount raised, upwards of £2.5m was directly co-ordinated by Par Equity through its investor network the Par Syndicate, the Par EIS fund and the Scottish Investment Bank.

The deals consisted of one new investment, in Edinburgh-based Amiqus, a software company that offers an encrypted online tool to automate anti-money laundering and compliance checks, and four follow ons.

Three of these were in hardware venutres: Adaptix, an English firm with facilities in Newhouse that produces 3D X-ray machines, Greengage, an Edinburgh busines that makes wavelength-tunable lamps and sensors, and fellow capital business Uniklasers, a company that produces high-performance lasers used in sectors from film-making to life sciences.

The fourth follow-on deal was for ticketing system provider Red61, which first custom built its technology to accommodate the 50,000 performances in 300 venues that take place during the Edinburgh Fringe.

Par Equity partner Paul Munn said: “Our interest in Amiqus started as clients rather than investors. But there’s nothing like being a customer to see if something helps or not.

“From there, we appreciated that it already had significant commercial traction and a highly competent leadership team, so the investment made complete sense.”

Munn said the investment firm’s willingness to back hardware ventures is what distinguishes its offering from other backers, adding: “Hardware companies tend to be longer-term investments and often require ongoing funding.

“One of the dangers of smaller backers is that they run out of firepower, but we don’t, and our strong relationship with the Scottish Investment Bank means we can draw in extra resources to help these businesses gain traction.”

Kerry Sharp, director of the Scottish Investment Bank, said: “We were involved in investing alongside Par Equity in all of these companies, two of which are new to our investment portfolio and strengthen both our investment relationship with Par and the number of exciting opportunities for companies.

“All of these investments have solid business strategies and high growth potential, which is good for the Scottish economy and broadens the capabilities of the country’s business base. To fulfil that potential, they need capital.”