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Par Equity to find scale-ups for £15m from British Business Investments

Edinburgh-based Par Equity has been enlisted by British Business Investments to allocate £15 million of funding for scale-ups as a partner in the Regional Angels Programme.

The cash from BBI – a commercial subsidiary of the British Business Bank – will be added to £60 million being invested by Par Equity in businesses mainly in Scotland, the north of England, and Northern Ireland.

The announcement coincides with Par Equity’s first use of Regional Angels capital. It has completed a £1.6 million investment in tech firm EC-OG and its subsea energy management hub Halo, which will create up to 40 jobs in Aberdeen.

The Par Investor Network, which has nearly 200 members, invests alongside the Par EIS Fund to add value to businesses. The Regional Angels Programme will also support Par’s follow-on investment activity in its portfolio.

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.

“It will help us enhance our growing reputation as the investment partner of choice for the best young companies in the regions and help them to attract the talent they need to realise their potential.”

Since 2008, Par Equity has invested more than £70 million in 57 companies and its portfolio has attracted over £110m of investment from third party investors.

The portfolio includes Edinburgh-based patient monitoring tech firm Current Health; BrainwaveBank, the Belfast-based creator of a headset device for EEG brain scanning; and NPT, a Middlesbrough cleantech company converting non-food plant residue into biofuels and chemicals. Past success stories include deltaDNA, an Edinburgh-based analytics company; ICS Learn, a Glasgow distance learning business and PathXL, a Belfast-based digital pathology solution.

The Regional Angels Programme aims reduce the imbalance in availability and awareness of equity investments in different regions of the UK. It aims to generate a market rate of return on its investments.

Catherine Lewis La Torre, CEO 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.”

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