Risk capital funding for companies in Scotland rose by 70% to £430million last year according to new figures from the Scottish Government’s investment arm.
The Scottish Investment Bank (SIB), part of economic development body Scottish Enterprise, said the figure represented a fourfold increase in investment since 2012.
The SIB’s annual risk capital market report for 2015 shows that overseas venture capitalists invested £290million in small and medium-sized Scottish business during the year, with around £50million coming from the rest of the UK.
Business angel investment in Scotland hit a new record of more than £30million during the year, up 15% on 2014, according to the report.
Deals of over £2m are now a strong feature of the Scottish market, the bank said, with the top two transactions of 2105 accounting for 60% of total investment.
The number of first-time investment deals for Scottish companies rose year-on-year, from 52 to 54, with a 5% increase in the amount invested to £41million.
ICT and life sciences firms continued to prove the most attractive to investors, securing almost 80% of the total investment. The renewable energy sector also saw 14 deals during the year.
Kerry Sharp, head of the SIB, described the report’s findings as “terrific”.
She said: “This report highlights that ambitious Scottish companies continue to attract significant investment; a terrific result, reflecting ongoing demand for investment from growth-oriented companies, matched by growing interest in Scottish propositions from new and existing investment partners.
“On the supply side, we remain focused on maintaining a buoyant risk capital market environment, and continue to seek new investment partners to work alongside our existing partners and co-invest in the next generation of ambitious Scottish companies. ’’