Par Equity launches £100m fund for startups in north of the UK

Despite the government's "levelling up" policy, it's been grim up north in terms of SME investment. Now, Par Equity intends to give tech companies a boost.

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Edinburgh-based venture capital firm Par Equity has launched a new venture fund specifically for startups in the north of the UK.

The firm has secured a first close of £67m to boost tech companies with high-growth potential in the north of England, Northern Ireland and Scotland, and will continue raising capital to close out the full £100m target fund size. 

The announcement is welcome news for businesses in the north, who have long felt left behind or left out completely out of government plans, despite ‘levelling up’ being a key policy to address regional inequality in the UK.

According to data gathered from the Startups 100 Index, our annual ranking of the most disruptive new businesses, London startups receive an average of £15m in early-stage investment – around eight times more than the average for companies across the UK.

More specifically, we found that organisations in London receive on average a huge £14,556,795 in funding – versus the rest of the UK, which gets £1,687,768 per business.

Par Equity’s announcement bucks this trend and shines a spotlight on the innovative and impressive talent in the north, and the potential it holds to further boost the UK’s tech ecosystem.

Backed by the Scottish National Investment Bank and British Business Investments, with further support from the Strathclyde Pension Fund, Par Equity will add further resources and capabilities to its venture programme to help accelerate promising tech companies and strengthen the talent pools in the regions.  

The fund will be managed from Par Equity’s Edinburgh office, as well as its recently launched Leeds base, and will lead or support Series A funding rounds. 

“Accelerating innovation and talent in this part of the UK is an absolute priority for us and we believe that this fund can be a positive catalyst for the local tech ecosystem,” says Paul Munn, managing partner at Par Equity. 

“Not only are we uniquely delivering capital to scaleups in the region, but we hope this fund will trigger a mindset shift to encourage and enable our very best and brightest companies to shine on the world stage.”

Since it was founded in 2008, Par Equity has invested over £160m across 77 companies, leveraging a further £268m of capital from third party investors. 

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Kirstie Pickering - business journalist

Kirstie is a freelance journalist writing in the tech, startup and business spaces for publications including Sifted, TNW, UKTN, The Business Magazine and Maddyness UK. She also works closely with agencies such as CEW Communications to develop content for their startup and scaleup clients.

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