Our Business

Par Equity is an investment firm with a difference.  We bring a pragmatic, hands on investment approach and extensive business experience to investment opportunities that have the potential for significant returns. The key to our approach is the deployment of operational experience, both from Par's executives and from Par's Advisory Panel.  The Advisory Panel consists of experienced, successful entrepreneurs, investors and business people who can inform our investment decisions and, subsequently, add value to investee companies.

We aim to provide Investors with access to a range of investment possibilities that we are developing under the Par Equity umbrella. Our model targets innovative, high return investment opportunities where we can add significant value.  Par executives and Par Advisers invest in fund opportunities, aligning our interests with those of our external investors.

Par Equity invests as a managed fund (Par Innovation Fund I LP) and as the co-ordinator of a business angel syndicate (The Par Syndicate) and has recently launched the Par Syndicate EIS Fund, which will invest alongside the Par Syndicate.

Par Innovation Fund I LP

Par Innovation Fund I is our initial fund offering and provides venture capital for post revenue, innovative companies.

Par Syndicate

Par Equity also supports and administers a highly active business angel network called the Par Syndicate.  Syndicate members have privileged access to opportunities to invest in high growth potential, innovative companies.  Members make their own investment decisions and invest directly in the companies.  These investments often qualify for EIS relief.

Contact us

Please call us on our office number if you would like more information +44 (0)131 5560044.

 

Latest Par News...    » More in Press Releases

Money Dashboard
Monday, 26 January 2015
Money Dashboard, the Edinburgh-based personal finance platform, has said it raised a further £2.5 million between August and November last year, bringing total funding to £5.2m in 12 months. The funding, led by private equity manager Calculus Capital, included investment from Ariadne Capital, Par Equity, and The Scottish Investment Bank, and adds to the initial £2.7m investment made in November 2013. » Read more


Dukosi
Monday, 1 December 2014
Dukosi Ltd, an Edinburgh-based developer of battery management and optimisation technology for electric vehicles, today announces an equity funding of £1m to develop its electric vehicle battery management technology into commercial products. The funding was led by IP Group plc, and was also supported by existing shareholders Par Equity and Scottish Investment Bank (the investment arm of Scottish Enterprise). » Read more


PureLiFi
Thursday, 21 August 2014
Sir Alexander Graham Bell may be better known as the guy who invented the first ‘practical’ telephone, but the Scottish scientist laid claim to an arsenal of additional innovations. Among these were the photophone, a wireless telephone of sorts that enabled sounds (including speech) to be transmitted via light. It’s said that Bell actually valued the photophone more than the telephone from his lifetime achievements, even though it never quite took off and is now consigned to the footnotes of history. However, more than 130 years after the photophone first came to light, Professor Harald Haas is pioneering his own light-centric wireless communications technology. And ironically, he’s doing so from the Alexander Graham Bell building at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. » Read more


QikServe
Wednesday, 13 August 2014
Mobile technology company, QikServe, today announced it has secured a further funding package of £525,000 ($880,000) to support the expansion of its mobile ordering and payment platform. This brings the total investment in QikServe to £1.1 million ($1.8 million). The new investment includes funding from existing investors, Equity Gap and The Scottish Investment Bank (the investment arm of Scottish Enterprise), as well as new investor, Par Equity. » Read more


Par Syndicate EIS Fund to invest in innovative small-medium-sized companies with high growth potential...Read more»
miiCard: Euromoney - Fintech: miiCard pioneers the online passport by Peter Lee A scheme to build trust around the concept of digital identities has the potential to transform the way individuals transact through the internet. Read the full article here : Fintech: miiCard pioneers the online passport
12 Mar 2015
miiCard: Scottish Enterprise Case Study : A Universal Standard for Online Identity Verification Recognised as one of Edinburghs leading tech start-ups by The Guardian, award winning company miiCard is pioneering a global digital passport to combat online identity fraud. The brainchild of Canadian entrepreneur and IT expert James Varga, patent protected miiCard is the first online identity service which provides the same level of security as an offline physical check. miiCard has billion dollar potential across a wide array of industries, including consumer finance, real-estate, recruitment, healthcare, social media, online dating and more. Download the Scottish Enterprise Case Study : A Universal Standard for Online Identity Verification here
20 Feb 2015
miiCard: Alternative Data in Lending - the Power of Digital Bank Statements Thursday, January 15th 2015 A recent report into the boom of marketplace lending by Charles Moldow, General Partner, Foundation Capital, 'A Trillion Dollar Market By the People, For the People' explores the increasing need for new data sources and demonstrates how the pioneers of the industry are looking to alternative data sources for underwriting. 'New insights can be gleaned from data sources that incumbents haven't even begun to consider - everything from business sales volume from credit cards or accounting programs for SMB lending to the length of time a prospective borrower has used the same email to the number of friends on Facebook, the number of followers on Twitter, the rating of a store on Yelp,' says Moldow. So what about the role of live, financial transaction data, in the underwriting process? Here we explore how real-time Digital Bank Statements are transforming credit risk analysis and affordability assessment in online lending. Limitations inExisting Underwriting Processes In traditional underwriting processes there is a reliance on credit scores, copies of bank statements and self-reported income data. Here's where they are falling down : Credit Scores provide limited insight into a consumer's true financial position, they don't provide the whole picture. Charles Moldow reports 'About one-third of U.S consumers have a FICO score under 670, most traditional lenders would not offer loans to individuals with scores that low. But many of these people are creditworthy borrowers. FICO data doesn't help assess whether they would repay loans or not - something that new data sources can help to predict more accurately.' Copies of Bank Statements are susceptible to fraud (almost anyone with sound web skills can alter a document using image editing software). With many banks encouraging their customers to move to online bank statements, obtaining paper copies for application processes can introduce delays, and leads to high drop-out rates. Self-reported Incomeis also susceptible to fraudand, as it is point-in-time, does not reflect any change in circumstances which may impact ability to make repaymentsin the future. How Live, Financial Transaction Data Transforms Credit Risk Analysis This is where Live Financial Transaction Data takes accuracy and insight into an applicant's financial health to a whole new level - removing the risk in underwriting and replacing it with actual real-time data shared directly from the applicant's bank account. Live Financial Transaction Data Insights: Digital Bank Statements (30, 60, 90 day transactions) Verified Income Bank Balance Cash Withdrawals Multiple Account Types - current/ checking, savings, credit cards Proven account ownership through secure credentials access * Daily, Weekly or Monthly Updates All online and deliveredin real-time Competition and a lack of data sharing from the banks, increased regulation around affordability assessment, continued increases in online fraud increases and consumers' growing demands for convenience are all driving forces for exploring alternative data sources and digital bank statements for improved underwriting in lending. * Over 65 million consumers use their banking credentials to do more onlinesuch as identity proofing,personal finance management, secure payments and business accounting. Market Update : Online Lending Find out how alternative data is disrupting the lending market : Download :The Role of Consumer-Driven Identity Alternative Data Sources in Online Lending Or see how our DirectID service provides Advanced Credit Risk Solutions here Topics:Lending, Financial Services, DirectID
15 Jan 2015
miiCard: DirectID miiCard in FSTech Awards Shortlist Thursday, December 11th 2014 The FSTech Awards 2015 shortlist is out and we're proud to announceboth miiCard and our new B2B verification service DirectID have been shortlisted for awards. DirectID has been shortlisted for Best use of Technology in Customer Service, and miiCard in the category of Anti-Fraud/ Security Strategy of the Year. These awards recogniseexcellence and innovation in the field of information technologywithin the UK and EMEA financial services sectors and we're among some big nameswithnominees includingAegon,Barclays/BT,Deutsche Bank andLloyds Banking Group. Here's a little more on our applications for the awards: Best use of Technology in Customer Service Pain in the Market The market need to create a level of trust, security and convenience in online consumer finance continues to grow. The use of personal data to validate identities continues to be proven ineffective across the board. The roles of banks to provide an active role in this space continues to build, as evidenced in the recent Lloyds Banking Group Study for Open Identity Exchange, however development is slow. Consumer-centric control, consent, personal data privacy and the need for more accurate and relative information is also putting more demands on the industry at a time when regulators continue to increase the diligence to which companies must operate. Recent changes to affordability assessment requirements for responsible lending in the UK are a prime example of this. Ever increasing fraud rates, security issues and data breaches is putting more pressure on consumers to operate with higher levels of security in context to what they are doing yet the appetite for the consumer to do more online continues to grow. The convergence of these trends has recently been highlighted by Apple in their launch of Apple Pay powered by TouchID. This combination provides the convenience needed to motivate consumers to adopt stronger security or authentication services. Combining stronger authentication and card on file payment methods, such as Apple has done, is just one example the power of two being exponentially more than could be created individually. How DirectID improvesCustomer Service A convergence of consumer demand and market requirements has lead miiCard to develop the B2B verification service DirectID. The demand for DirectID came from within consumer finance, an industry that is up against rising fraud levels and increased pressure from the regulators, while it strives to deliver consumers more seamless, valuable and convenient services in a purely digital environment. An industry that needs more robust tools for credit risk analysis and affordability assessments, enhanced debt recovery collections, full online AML compliance and KYC verification and fraud prevention. Essentially DirectID is the identity verification engine of miiCard, delivered as an embedded, white labelled service that can be inserted directly into a customer onboarding or signup process. Its made up of identity and data (both personal and financial from a range of sources including bureaus and directly from bank accounts) to enable the purely online, real-time sale of high value products and services in a one-time verification process. DirectID allows banks and businesses to extend their current level of services to include bigger transactions but without the need to create a miiCard at the front end of the transaction. Consumers can verify their identity and personal information in a one-time transaction, to get instant access or approval for the product or service all within a single session. Anti-fraud/ Security Strategy of the Year Pain in the Market The main challenge with online identity is that it is online. How do you know who you're dealing with, who they are and that they arent someone else pretending to be that person? As consumers we are increasingly at risk of sharing personal information without being able to manage it. The industry at present largely relies on this personal information to try and make sure it is you but if we know your name, address and date of birth we can pretend to be you. The Internet is a part of our daily lives, and to continue to do more online we have to be able to establish greater levels of trust. Identity related fraud continues to grow at an alarming rate with the reliance on personal information to verify identities on everything from Facebook accounts through to regulated bank accounts. These risk-based verification processes, which make use of background checks and knowledge based assessments, are directly contributing to the sharp increase in fraud because so much of this information is widely available. The Javelin Strategy and Research 2013 Identity Fraud Reportin the US highlights the growing problem of identity related fraud. The United Kingdom's Fraud Prevention Service CIFAS found in their Annual Fraud Trends Reportfor 2012 that more than half of all fraud is identity related, through impersonation, hacking and social engineering. The impact on business is twofold with banks and merchants wearing the cost of fraud and consumers losing trust in these brands. In summary the Javelin report analysing fraud found: Identity fraud rose by 7.5% 50% increase in new account fraud using personal data 1 every 3 seconds incidents of identity fraud Total amount stolen through fraudulent activities was $21 billion How miiCard removes fraud miiCard (My Internet Identity) is creating trust online with a global Identity Service (IDaaS) platform that eliminates fraud, removes barriers to new customer acquisition and reduces operational costs. Through a patented process that leverages the trust between an individual and their financial institution, miiCard allows individuals and businesses to confirm an online identity to the same level as an offline photo ID check, and maintain a trusted chain of liability, without leaving the online relationship or transaction. This is a system and methods that enables and utilises the conversion of an individual's ability to access multiple secure accounts to establish and validate the individual's digital primary identity. The control for the digital primary identity validation is user-centric so that the individual controls the amount of information supplied and therefore the level of assurance achievable. The level of assurance can be added to the digital primary identity. An identity card for digital primary identity validation can be used online or in-person. Validation and level of assurance is reviewed regularly or continuously and levels of assurance can be increased by validating primary sources of identification. Winners will be announced at the FSTech Awards Ceremony,London Marriott Hotel,Grosvenor Squareon26 March 2015.To see the full list of nominees click here Topics:miiCard, DirectID, Financial Services, Industry News
11 Dec 2014
miiCard: 50 Online Identity Stories From Around The Globe Tuesday, November 25th 2014In recent months we've seen an increase in activity in online identity across all sectors from government to finance, healthcare and in peer networks like online dating and social sites. To give you an idea of the volume of digital identity related news we've captured 50 of the big stories over the past three months in the timeline below. Topics:Identity News, Online Trust, Identity Protection
26 Nov 2014
miiCard: Lloyds study supports Bank-Verified Online Identities Wednesday, October 29th 2014 New research by Lloyds Banking Group (LBG) and Open Identity Exchange (OIX) for the UK Cabinet office confirms bank-verified identities, direct from the online bank account, are valuable for both consumers and public sector. As the foundation for miiCard's online identity proofingit is fantastic this established, trusted and regulated verification process, that ensures information is accurate and in compliance with AML and KYC, is now being recognised at a wider industry level. It brings confidence to the miiCard proposition by supporting the use of banking credentials in line withthe Cabinet Office Good PracticeGuidelines for both retail transactions and accessing government services in a purely digital environment. The study also found consumers react positivelybecause they trust their bankand recognise the convenience and potential speed of transactions they can provide. This is in line with our own research which found that when given the choice75 percent of consumers would prefer to use their secure credentials to prove their identity online, rather than go into a branch or send in documents,when applying for a financial services product. An article on the Lloyds Banking Group studyin the Financial Times, 'Banks want to keep your digital ID in their vaults,'reported technology consultants believed banks were an obvious choice for providing identity assurance services and that relying on the bank could see businesses and public sector bodies eliminate the need for their own time consuming and costly checks. Exploring the benefit to the consumer the article sighted Barclays approach of leveraging existing identityverification through credentials to access their smartphone banking app Pingit, as an example of using a bank-verified identity to skip the queue or signup or do something instantly. There are clearbenefits to consumers of convenience and ease in form filling in addition to the extra security this approach provides. This is why we have developed DirectID, a secure and convenientway to sign up to a service ortake out a new product such as a mortgage orpersonal loanonlineusing your bank credentialsin no more than a couple of minutes. Thestudy is a giant leap forward in recognising the key role that banks can play in creating a layer of trust in the Internet. You can read the LBG and OIX research paper here Topics:miiCard, DirectID, Financial Services, Online Trust
29 Oct 2014