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.

See attached link for fll article -


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 -


BondMason set to unveil range of bonds

17 April 2018

PEER-TO-PEER investor BondMason is planning to issue a series of bonds with one to three-year maturities after raising £1.85m in equity funding, the company’s chief executive told Peer2Peer Finance News.  Click here to read full article


Money Dashboard takes home big prize two years running

6 March 2018

We are delighted to announce that Money Dashboard won the award for Best Personal Finance app for the second year in a row at The British Bank Awards despite fierce competition from Yolt, Plum, Cleo & Onedox.  Full article attached.

Inspirational Atkinson scoops leadership award

27 November 2017

Inspirational Atkinson scoops leadership award

Recruitment and investment entrepreneur Paul Atkinson has been awarded ‘Scotland’s Most Inspiring Leader’ Awards at the WeDO Scotland Awards, held over the weekend in Edinburgh’s Sheraton Hotel.

Atkinson, who is a founding partner of the Par Equity investment business, and Executive Chairman of newly-formed recruitment business, Taranata Group, is a serial entrepreneur.  He sold his first recruitment businesses in 1998, and since then has invested in a number of businesses in the technology and recruitment sectors.  His first significant investment was with Learning IT, which was subsequently sold in an MBO.  He then invested in a further 16 companies, many of which went on to successful exits, including Mobiqa and Rocela.

In October 2017, Paul launched Taranata Group, along with a vision to build a £100m supergroup by 2020.  The group currently comprises four established recruitment brands operating in the UK and internationally, and is currently on the acquisition trail.

As well as giving sincere thanks to WeDO Scotland, the individuals and the teams he has worked with along the way, Paul Atkinson also commented: “I’ve been very fortunate on both sides of my business, with Par Equity and all the inventive businesses we are involved with; and more recently with the creation of Taranata Group, which we are working to build into an international talent supergroup.  Above all, working in Scotland, with its tradition of innovation, curiosity, grit and pioneering spirit, continues to be an inspiration and a privilege."

Belinda Roberts, founder of WeDO Scotland said: “We are thrilled that Paul Atkinson won our inaugural Inspiring Leader Award.  Paul has been an inspiration to the Scottish entrepreneurial community over many years both with the businesses he has created and those he has invested in and helped.  He is always willing to give of his time, even to those he doesn’t know, and his vision, passion and genuine interest and support of others is exemplary.” 

WeDO Scotland is the country’s most exclusive leadership organisation for transformational business owners and leaders of dynamic companies. Membership is predominantly by invitation or referral and is subject to approval by an executive team. 


Issued on behalf of Taranata Group by Clark Communications.  For further information, please contact Lesley Brydon on 0131 225 9596/07771 630834 or


Taranata Group currently comprises Head Resourcing, Change Recruitment, Head Medical and Atkinson Macleod; employs almost 150 people and turns over around £65m.  Each individual business is a specialist, and operates with autonomy both at home and internationally. 

Vert Rotors CEO Olly Dmitriev named one of the UK's Top 100 Manufacturers

16 November 2017

"The founder and CEO of Edinburgh-based Vert Rotors has been named in a prestigious list recognising the UK’s Top 100 most inspiring individuals in the manufacturing sector, according to a report published by the Manufacturer magazine.

An innovative manufacturing entrepreneur, Olly Dmitriev, who was named ‘Inventor of the Year’ at the 2017 Made in Scotland Awards, invented the world’s smallest low-vibration compressors for a range of applications including space and terrestrial applications," writes the Scottish Business News Network.

Read more.

Par Equity named Runner Up for 2017 Most Impactful Investment Award at Growth Investor Awards

9 November 2017

Par Equity’s hands-on approach to value creation has been recognised with a Runner-up Award for Most Impactful Investment at the 2017 Growth Investor Awards, the investment in question being ICSLearn, which Par Equity acquired in 2012.  The company, which has been the subject of a wide-ranging turnaround process, paid a maiden dividend earlier this year of £3.50 per share, which should be compared with an original subscription price of £2.50.  This award is welcome recognition of Par Equity’s active management capabilities, which stem from the availability of seasoned business people within the Par Syndicate and wider investor network.  Coincidentally, Par Syndicate member and ICSLearn chairman Angus MacDonald was named Entrepreneur of the Year at the annual Spears Wealth Management Awards on the same night.