Scottish investment for NI firms Plotbox and Datactics

14 May 2019

A Scottish venture capital firm has invested in two Northern Ireland technology companies. Par Equity has taken a £2m stake in Plotbox in partnership with Ironbridge Capital.

Plotbox, based in Ballymena, County Antrim, makes cemetery management software. It will use the funding to improve the functionality of its software and to expand sales and marketing efforts. Par Equity has co-invested with Kernel Capital to take a £1.2m stake in Belfast-based data analytics firm Datactics.

The full article can be read here


Edinburgh-based Par Equity leads £3.2m investment in Northern Ireland tech companies

14 May 2019

Edinburgh-based venture capital firm Par Equity has led investments totalling £3.2 million in two Northern Ireland software companies, Plotboxand Datactics.  The technology firms are the latest to benefit from investment led by Par Equity, which has invested more than £118 million in over 51 companies since it was founded in 2008.  Investment manager Graeme Mckinstry said: “Northern Ireland is producing some very high-quality opportunities for venture capital investment.

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Par Equity lead £1.9m investment in loyalty card app Swipii

6 March 2019

Swipii, the loyalty card app, has secured investment of £1.9m via a funding round led by award-winning Scottish venture capital firm Par Equity. 

The latest version of the app removes the need for physical loyalty cards by linking to a debit or credit card and rewarding users with points as they shop at businesses signed-up to Swipii. The app’s original iteration had 1.1m users and its 1,700 affiliated businesses saw up to a 1.5x revenue boost, but it relied on using iPads to track visits only. 

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Hat-trick of awards for Par Equity after another win

12 February 2019

Par Equity, the venture capital firm, has won ‘Best EIS Investment Exit’ at the EIS Association Awards 2019. The win completed a hat-trick of awards recognising the firm’s 76x return on investment turnaround of online educator ICS Learn.

The EIS Association Awards 2019 were announced at the trade body’s Chairman’s Reception event held at the House of Lords. Entries to the prestigious awards are judged by a panel of independent industry experts.

Full article below


Par Equity leads two-day investment deal bonanza

24 January 2019

Venture capital firm Par Equity has closed investments worth almost £5 million over a two-day spell. The Edinburgh-based firm led funding rounds worth a combined £4.85m over two days at the end of December, partnering with the Scottish Investment Bank on all of the five deals.  

Read more at:

Dukosi battery technology firm in US partnership

19 December 2018

Edinburgh-based battery technology firm Dukosi has signed a strategic partnership with a US-based energy company.  Under the agreement, Michigan-based XALT Energy will be able to use Dukosi’s technology in its energy storage products.

For full article in "Insider" see attached link

Growth Investor Awards 2018 - Par Equity wins "Exit of the Year"

9 November 2018

Par Equity’s outstanding 75x return on investment and great support to its investee companies made the company the deserving winner in the Exit of the Year category, presented by Alex Evans, programme director at The Supper Club.

Please see attached link -

Entrepreneur Atkinson receives special achievement industry award

2 October 2018

Recruitment and investment entrepreneur, Paul Atkinson has been recognised for his services to the technology industry in Scotland by ScotlandIS, the industry body for Scottish software, telecoms, digital and IT businesses.  The Outstanding Personal Achievement Award was announced last night (Thursday 27thSeptember 2018) at ScotSoft, the annual festival of ideas and innovation delivered by ScotlandIS.  Full article attached.



Edinburgh is named among Europe's top technology centres

17 September 2018

Edinburgh has come in at fourth in a ranking of technology hubs in smaller cities across Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA).  The city came above the likes of Geneva and Brussels in the ‘normal’ cluster category in the report by property consultancy CBRE.

See attached Business Insider link for full article -


13 August 2018

Today The ID Co. announced that it has been working with CYBG on integrating its DirectID Open Banking platform into the Bank’s B mobile banking app. B offers customers an intuitive mobile app, with a range of interactive tools designed to offer customers a single place to manage their financial and lifestyle needs, helping them become more financially fit. CYBG recently launched its aggregation service, an Open Banking solution allowing customers to see their current account details and balances from all major banks and building societies within the B app.  Please follow the link to read full article

Growth Investor Awards 2018 - Par Equity finalist in two categories

27 July 2018

Finalist "Best EIS Investment Manager" and "Exit of the Year".



Par Equity Managing Partner Paul Munn interviewed on "The Series A Hour" Match Capital

27 July 2018

Please follow the attached link to register with Intelligent Crowd TV to see Paul Munn, Par Equity Managing Partner -


IPD UK Annual Forestry Index

29 June 2018

UK Annual Forestry Index results for the year to 31st December 2017 - full report attached

Edinburgh-based company Vert Rotors (Vert), founded by London Business School (LBS) graduate Olly Dmitriev, has taken the top prize at this year's Made in Scotland Awards.

30 May 2018

Edinburgh-based company Vert Rotors (Vert), founded by London Business School (LBS) graduate Olly Dmitriev, has taken the top prize at this year's Made in Scotland Awards.

The company, which specialises in ultra-compact gas compressors, took the award for Innovator of the Year before being crowned the overall winner. 
Vert has developed a conical screw compressor that’s used in everything from supercars and satellites to medical devices. The compressors are two times smaller than similar products and the technology removes vibration, improving efficiency by 35%.

See attached link for full article -


Primary Backs MBO of ICS Learn

8 May 2018

ICS Learn is pleased to announce the completion of a management buyout of the business from the current owners, Angus MacDonald and Par Equity.  The management team was backed by Primary Capital Partners (“Primary”), one of the UK’s leading mid-market private equity firms.  The terms of the transaction are undisclosed. 

Full article can be seen at



£30m payday for investors in Glasgow-based online education specialist

8 May 2018

Par Equity and entrepreneur Angus MacDonald earned a 100-times return on their initial £250k investment in ICS Learn after it was bought out by its management team, can reveal.  Full article can be read here



ICS Learn delivers 75 x investment return in five years for investors

4 May 2018

EIS-backed turnaround delivers 75x investment return in five years

• Investment firm transforms distance learning firm into market leader in online education

• Transformation includes world-first innovation in online education

An Enterprise Investment Scheme that led to a world-first innovation in online learning has given investors a 75x return on their money in a little over five years.

The Par Syndicate, a business angel network established by Edinburgh-based venture capital firm Par Equity, acquired International Correspondence Schools in late 2012. At the time, despite being a long-established “distance learning” specialist, ICS Learn had an uncertain future. Now, after half a decade of refocusing and growth, it has been transformed into a fully fledged online education provider and a trailblazer in virtual learning environments.  One of its courses, centered on personal fitness, was the first in the world to allow students to complete their qualification exclusively through video submissions of their work.

Now known as ICS Learn and catering for more than 15,000 online students around the globe, the Glasgow-based company has been sold to a private equity backed MBO.  It had already paid a dividend in 2017, delivering a pre-tax return of more than 140%, before Par Equity prepared for an exit that would ultimately prove successful.

Par Equity Managing Partner, Paul Munn, said: “The total return for an initial £1,000 investment is over 75x on a pre-tax basis and over 100x if you take EIS reliefs into account.  “So, this is a huge success story for all concerned – for the investors, for the company and its employees and for the thousands of students who use ICS Learn to build their skills.  “It demonstrates the power of EIS and the importance of releasing capital to finance and develop promising UK businesses, particularly those in knowledge-intensive sectors.”

Par Equity raised investment to acquire the business and funds were channelled into technology, course content, staffing – including around 20 new employees – and tools/support, most notably virtual learning environments.  Munn said: “Having achieved a significant transformation of the business, we saw there was a clear opportunity for a strong exit.  “On balance, although the board did weigh the potential to continue to operate and grow the business, it was felt that new owners would better support further expansion.  “We exited in the knowledge that ICS Learn is now a leading provider in every sector that it focuses on and the fastest-growing online education business in the country.  “Par Equity has now investedover £50 million in 45 companies, the sale of ICS Learn brings the number of exits for Par Equity investors to 12 (both positive and negative). These twelve exits have generated aggregate proceeds of £38.0 million on investment of £7.8 million, representing a cash-on-cash multiple of 4.9x and a realised IRR of 41%.”

Notes:  Par Equity is a venture capital firm with a hands-on, high impact investment style.  It seeks out opportunities to invest in innovative young companies with strong growth potential and works closely with them to help them succeed. Its primary interest is in companies that are innovative and which gain competitive advantage by doing things in new and better ways.  Where possible, Par Equity uses government-approved tax wrappers such as EIS to maximise returns to investors and mitigate the risks of early stage investment. The company has been built by investors, for investors.

For more information:

T:+44 (0)131 556 0044


Novosound - University of the West of Scotland’s first spinout raises £1.5 million

2 May 2018

The first spinout company set to emerge from the University of the West of Scotland has closed its seed investment round, raising £1.5 million.

novosound, the winner of the 2017 Converge Challenge, has developed and patented a ground-breaking technique to mass-manufacture printable ultrasound sensors. The revolutionary method overcomes the limitations of existing technology, improving a manufacturing process, which hasn’t majorly changed in more than 40 years. 

Par Equity, the Edinburgh-based venture capital firm which has a strong track record in investing in early stage companies, is the lead investor with Kelvin Capital co-investing alongside. The investment will drive novosound’s growth plan, allow it to expand its already-experienced team, and bring its cutting-edge ultrasound sensors to market.

Full article can be found here

Top Apple, Google, and Samsung smartphones hit game monetization records

2 May 2018

The latest smartphones from Apple, Google, and Samsung achieve high rates of monetization compared to other kinds of smartphones, according to a study from analytics and marketing platform DeltaDNA.

Edinburgh and San Francisco-based DeltaDNA said that the study found the Apple iPhone X and the latest smartphone models from Google and Samsung are achieving game monetization numbers that are up to 270 percent above the industry average. Players using the newest phones are spending in greater numbers than ever before.

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Vert Rotors launches new revolutionary compressor

18 April 2018


Vert Rotors, the innovative engineering company, has launched a new portable microcompressor that will allow manufacturers to deliver very high levels of compressed air whenever they need it.

Vert - a winner at last year's Insider Made In Scotland Awards - says that the new microcompressor will solve a key industry health and safety problem with the new units being much quieter than those currently on the market.  The full article can be found here -