Scottish Businesses Experience Nearly £100 Million Boost through Investment

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Scottish businesses attracted nearly £100m in venture capital investment during the first quarter of 2024, according to the latest KPMG UK data. The KPMG Private Enterprise Venture Pulse report indicated that 19 companies collectively secured £98m in funding, representing a significant increase compared to 2023, when 14 firms shared approximately £70m— a three-year low at the time.

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Among the notable deals during the first three months of this year were agriculture tech company Intelligent Growth Solutions, which raised £28.6m, and Edinburgh-based electric public transport startup Ember, which secured £13.9m.

Recent figures also showed that over £359m was invested in Scotland last year across 115 companies of various sizes and sectors.

Amy Burnett, KPMG Private Enterprise senior manager in Scotland, commented: “While it is encouraging to see these positive numbers in Scotland compared to last year, there’s a need for caution. The market is volatile, and with upcoming elections across the globe, the VC market might experience quieter activity in the next three quarters.”

She added: “Nonetheless, all businesses involved in these deals deserve recognition for demonstrating that Scotland is a fertile ground for investment.”

Graeme Williams, head of corporate finance for Scotland at KPMG, noted that although there are ongoing challenges such as geopolitical uncertainty, the interest in Scottish companies for investment remains strong. He said: “Despite the challenges ahead, we’re seeing significant interest in Scottish businesses, suggesting that venture capital investment should stay stable, if not grow, in the coming quarters.”

In other parts of the UK, the report showed that venture capital investment into UK businesses continued to decline, falling to levels not seen since 2018. UK firms raised around £3bn in the first quarter of 2024, a notable decrease from the near £4.9bn raised in the last quarter of 2023. Additionally, only 519 deals were completed during the period, a number not seen since 2016. Despite the downturn in deal volume, deal sizes remained relatively healthy, with VC investors focusing their funding on the most promising startups.

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