Edinburgh-based investment manager Par Equity increased its new investment activity to a record £12.4m in 2020.
Despite the challenges of a year dominated by Covid-19, the early-stage technology investor also continued its run of successful exits, which means it has now returned cash to investors every year since 2013.
Last year closed with Par having completed 35 investment transactions in 12 months, up from a previous high in 2019.
Additions to the portfolio included SICCAR, an IT technology company that enables organisations to securely exchange information, and Integrated Graphene, an advanced materials business which has developed and patented a way to mass manufacture 3D graphene at low cost.
The year also included a £75m investment partnership with British Business Investments (BBI), which saw Par becoming part of the Regional Angel Programme and making its first investment in EC-OG, an Aberdeen-based specialist in subsea clean energy.
These investments bring the total number of companies backed by Par Equity to over 60, with more than 20 now exited.
Among the exits last year was Symphonic, originally a spin-out from Edinburgh Napier University. The software company, which enables organisations to control access to confidential information, was sold to a US internet security firm Ping Identity – achieving a blended 8.3x return across two rounds of investment for the Par EIS Fund.
Paul Munn, managing partner at Par Equity, said: “Par Equity is absolutely focused on finding and supporting the best new technology companies in Scotland, Northern Ireland and the north of England.
“In 2020 we strengthened our business model adding new hires and launching new initiatives such as our head-hunter panel, university partnerships and our regional investor network programmes. In doing so we have set a strong foundation for growth in 2021.”