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

Wednesday, 22 July 2015
Mallzee, the personalised shopping app turns down Dragons offer of £75K investment and goes on to raise £2.5 million instead! Mallzee, the original personalised shopping app – commonly dubbed ‘Tinder for Fashion’ has in the 18 months, since launch, become one of the most popular shopping apps throughout the world and today’s announcement that it has closed a £2.5 million funding round will allow it to further innovate the m-commerce space and scale its global offering. » Read more

Monday, 8 June 2015
Symphonic receives significant funding to accelerate the development of its next-generation Identity and Access Management software. Symphonic Trust provides a Common Authorisation Layer to facilitate secure data access and information sharing in complex, highly regulated environments involving multiple organisations or multiple technologies. » Read more

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

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

Par Syndicate EIS Fund to invest in innovative small-medium-sized companies with high growth potential...Read more»
miiCard: Identity 3.0 - An Industry Update for FinTechWeek 2015 Monday, September 28th 2015 Online identity is one of the most important issues in todays global economy. This was the dominant themeat FinTechWeekthis month where I gave an update to the industy on what is now being described asIdentity 3.0. Whether thediscussion was around cyber risk, fraud orblockchain, almost every conversation referenced identity. Having been involved with the internet for a long time (300bps modems and writing my first bit of 'code' on a vic 20's is where I started) and with a focus over the last five years onidentity throughmiiCard andinitiatives such as Trust in DigitalLife,theNational Strategy for Cyberspace (NSTIC) and UKID Assurance Program, we are at a pivotal point in the industry. The Need for New Sources of Trust Online The lack of trusthas been a challenge with the Internet for over 20 years, from the time the saying'On the Internet nobody knows youre a dog' was coineduntil most recently when affairs site Ashley Madisonwas hacked resulting in over 30 million user records compromised, 60 gigs of data revealedand a 600 million dollar lawsuit. This is of course in addition to Sony, Target, Anthem Blue Cross etc, the list goes on. Havinggrown up with the Internet and as someone who is very passionate about itseffect on our lives, this is very important to me andthe reason Istarted miiCard.Prior to miiCard I was working on thePersonal Finance Management toolMoney Dashboard. During my time thereit became apparent that there was a fundamental disconnect between the 'physical you' and the 'virtual you.' I realised we would never realise the full potential of the Internet until we could really trust the identity of the person on the other end of the browser or email in our online transactions. It was finding a source of trust that was the biggest challenge. Ilooked at personal information,but that didn't prove anything. Of the billions of dollars in fraud each year over half is online and the biggest proponent of this is your name, address and data of birth. Just because I tell you my name or even some information about me only proves I know that information. Any one of my friends, work colleagues or any of the 3000+ connections in myLinkedIn network could tell you this. Document verification solutions were just starting to develop at the sametime but came with their ownchallenges. While they can verify a document looks real they can't prove your identity - that you are that person presenting the document. With the rise offraudulent documents these cannot always be relied on even with an in-person check.I was talking to a director of fraud in a bank the other day who was questioning the value of a physical document check. Take away the physical benefit of the check and it isn't as strong as the industry needs. How the miiCard Digital Passport anticipated Identity 3.0 With the building issues in the market a different approach was needed. The solution was tobuild trust online by empowering consumers - the miiCard Digital Passport. Through miiCard we allow individuals and businesses to confirm an online identity to the same level as an offline photo ID check, without ever havingto leave the digital relationship or transaction. The patented process is infinitely stronger than username and passwords, authentication or any other method of ID on the Internet today, andinstantly enables an entire host of high value transactions across a range of services like consumerfinance, healthcare, social media andonline dating. It saves time and moneyand provides a better overall online experience for consumers. There were a few immediate choices that we had to make in building miiCard.While theyseemed obvious at the time, today they arereflected in the principles of Identity 3.0. Consumer Centric A consumer centric approach was key to miiCard, theconsumer had to be in the middle of the equation, always. Strong Authentication It had to include strong authentication services. While miiCard has2 factor authenticationstandard by default it must be made clear that this does not prove identity. Just because I have a mobile phone doesn't mean you really know it's me, especiallywhen so many phones are pay as you go. Authentication does play a valuable role however inprotecting accounts and when used in a layered security model, strong assurance on the assertion of a digitalidentity. Individual Control Consumers had to havereal control over their data. Empoweringthem to choose what personal informationthey wanted to share with who, for how long and with a great amount of granularity and control was key. This included the ability to 'disconnect' easily access to your data. With the upcoming Data Protection Directive in Europe this is now being mandated and has been seen inthe "right to delete" and "right to forget" cases withGoogle. It was also important to support a range of situations - from proving your real identity without sharing any personal information through to sharing all of your information without any verification in your identity. Convenience One of the most important factors wasconvenience. This hasan overriding theme in our products and the evolving marketover the last fouryears. There isnot much that reallymotivates consumers more than convenience. It'swhy the industry talks about a 'frictionless' user experience and how even milliseconds of delay in loading a webpage can have an immediate impact on conversions and performance. A Source of Trust Finally there needed to betrust, away to connect the physical person with the digital one, to create the trust andtraceability needed from a compliance, risk, fraud and regulatory perspective. A source of authority was needed and that's when the penny dropped. Banks know you really well. They know you better than anyone else. My bank knows that I live in Musselburgh, work in Edinburgh. From my financial transactions my banks knows that I was in London last week, where I stayed andwhere I went for dinner. They have also already done the Know your Customer and Anti-Money Laundering checks. All this trust, traceability and rich transaction data is wrapped up in our online bank accounts. As consumers all we needed was a way to use this to do more online. Today it isthis source of trust - bankverified identities -that is so exciting. It has the potential to fundamentally change the way we engage online,creating a level of assurance and attestation that just doesn't exist today. I asked thisquestion while at a roundtable discussion on cyber risk and security the other week. "With the challenges of data, standardisation, security andinsurance, is there any alternative but to put the consumer at the middle of the equation?" There was not one suggestion of an alternative. For me this reflects quite strongly where we are as an industry just now andwhy Identity 3.0 is such a hot topic. Topics:miiCard, Identity Trust, Identity Protection
28 Sep 2015
miiCard: Solving the Challenge of Trust Online, the miiCard Story Monday, August 31st 2015miiCard is the brainchild of Canadian entrepreneur and IT expert James Varga who was struck by the ever-present puzzle of how to prove identity online to the same level of authority as a driver's license or passport would do offline, and make the buying and selling of financial products faster and easier. As a veteran technology executive, James developed and patented miiCards Bring Your Own Identity platform in response to what he recognized as a fundamental lack of trust online. With miiCard, he has created a proven layer of trust and assurance in identity that enables consumers, businesses and governments to interact and transact with complete confidence online. "I have worked at a number of companies in the technology and financial fields. Prior to miiCard I was working on a PFM that was essentially the Mint.com of the UK. During my time there, it became apparent that there is a fundamental disconnect between the 'physical you' and the 'virtual you.' This disconnect is very difficult to bridge and that's what creates so much doubt in our online interactions and transactions. I realized that our online selves would never reach their full potential until we could eliminate this doubt and replace it with trust by verifying the identity of the person on the other end of the browser or email. And that's exactly what miiCard does. We allow individuals and businesses to confirm an online identity to the same level as an offline photo ID check and you never have to leave the online relationship or transaction to do it. The patented process is infinitely better than username and passwords or any other method of ID on the internet today, and it instantly enables an entire host of never before possible financial, healthcare, social media, online dating, and other service. It saves businesses and individuals time and money and makes for a much better overall online experience." - James Varga, CEO miiCard. Founder and CEO James Varga describes how miiCard creates trust online Over his more than 20-year career in technology, James has held a number of senior level positions in marketing, technology and management roles. Most recently, he served as a co-founder and director of Money Dashboard, the UKs leading personal finance management tool. He also created beblu, the first mini-component computer system designed for the living room; led a knowledge assessment service; a digital agency for websites and financial service applications named lightershade; and founded Squarepeg, an eBusiness consultancy specializing in CRM and sales management. Passionate about the digital economy and the online identity space, James is also an active member of The Open Identity Exchange and a board member of Trust in Digital Life. Topics:Online Trust, miiCard, Identity Protection
31 Aug 2015
miiCard: Identity and Trust Gathering Speed Monday, August 17th 2015 Im quite fond of the saying: "Life moves pretty fast, if you don't stop and look around once in a while you could miss it." Never mind that it comes from an 80s movie, it has resonance for me and the rest of the team right now. The online identity, verification and trust space seems to be accelerating at light speed, and its hard to even write this short update without fearing that it will be outdated by the time you read it. So moments like these are important to take stock of whats happening around us and how our original vision is being validated every day. Online Trust and theRole of the Banks This rapid change is especially true in the case of banks, and how they are fast coming to the realization of the role they can play in creating trust online. Whether spurred on by the Payment Services Directive (PSD2) or the business case for taking positive action in dealing with the fraud, onboarding, and compliance, banks have begun to realize their own need for greater levels of identity when operating online and the huge opportunity in front of them. The PSD2 is already playing a critical role as a catalyst for the industry to understand and discuss the potential impact of banks as identity providers. Conversations with FDATA alongside FCA, FFA, Payments UK and numerous others all highlight the opportunity in this space. I witnessed this first hand while on a panel for the Fintextra Future Money conference earlier this year where it was encouraging to see one of the UK's main Retail Banks admit that they saw Identity as a USP that they could themselves leverage in the market. As long as this is done to enable and empower the consumer then this is a huge step forward. It has been four years since miiCard was created specifically to provide this layer of trust in the Internet, and from the beginning our approach has been to leverage the trust consumers already have with their bank to prove they really are who they say they are online. It is humbling then to see the rest of the industry move to this point of view, and endorse that approach. But what is most exhilarating is that there is consensus around the ultimate need for that layer of trust. This is reinforced by the almost daily stories in the media about the impact of not having this trust. From fraud to compliance, underwriting to affordability, personal data to hacking - consumers are demanding more and more that something be done. This is what is so exciting for us. To be able to offer such a high level of trust alongside convenience, control and security helps us make a positive impact in a market that is so much a part of everyday life. Over the next few months you will see more and more announcements from us about how we are hoping to make this impact, but for now let's just reflect on how much of a fundamental need online trust is for each and every one of us. Identity around the Globe We can point to this as a universal need because its one being confronted around the world. Australia is currently at a crossroads, South Korea is in a bit of a crisis, India is under question, the US is struggling, and even the UK is not getting the hoped for traction. It's clear that its time to move from government issued, segregated and managed identity services (especially where, like in the case of Australia, there are multiple services all being developed) to one that empowers the consumer to own and manage their own identity. Consumer owned identity is the only universal solution. What we should be doing as an industry is understand how this can be achieved - what it means and how we can educate consumers. This is a trend that we will continue to see develop, and what is now being termed Identity 3.0 or Bring Your Own Identity (BYOID). It's this consumer-centric approach that has led us to become involved with NSTIC and OIX and similar projects both in the US and UK. Now as we expand to more countries, with people on the ground in Australia, Canada and other regions, we are hearing support for this approach and can begin to see real progress. DirectID Making a Difference The success of our new DirectID solution is driven in large part by these pains being felt by both businesses and consumers alike. DirectID is our recently launched B2B plug and play cloud service that embeds directly into existing IDV and onboarding processes. It has demonstrated the opportunity for businesses to take advantage of the consumer's trust, identity and data that they already have through their online bank. In just a few months we have had dozens of customers ranging from small independents to new FinTech startups to banks and billion dollar lenders integrate seamlessly in order to provide their customers a frictionless user experience. DirectID is now enabling the next generation of online consumer finance applications in retail banking, lending, mortgages and payments. Lyndsay Wagster at eMoneyUnionsummed up the end user experience nicely,"Our clients are choosing to verify through DirectID for speed and efficiency, they are really embracing it because it lets them complete their entire application all online." With this powerful online verification and data solution for customer onboarding, credit risk assessment and underwriting, we take the trust and assurance in bank-verified identities and real-time financial profiles and match it with credit and bureau data, so companies can make more accurate and instant decisions. This is a real-world example of bank driven identity in action. This combination of Bank Verified Identities (through a consumer's secure bank login) and Live Financial data (real time access to customers' 90 day bank statements) layered with analytics and intelligence has had a fantastic reception to date, especially in the areas of online lending and consumer engagement. All in a service that can take just half a day to get up and running, and only a couple of minutes for the consumer to go through, is already being described as a global disruptor. It's this disruption, this impact and the chance to fundamentally change the way we interact online that is core to everything we do. If we can empower consumers, create a new level of trust online and make life easier then we have made the difference we want to make. Topics:Online Trust, Identity News, Identity Protection, Financial Services
17 Aug 2015
Flightman: Croatia Airlines Go-live with Flightman?s Electronic Flight Bag Software Flightman today announced that Croatia Airlines have successfully gone live with their suite of EFB applications, including Flight Briefing, Content Management and the Flightman Ground Administrative Manager applications across their A320 aircraft. The onboard applications are integrated with existing Croatia Continue reading
16 Jul 2015
miiCard: Latest Online Identity News Review Wednesday, July 15th 2015 Here's the latest online identity news stories from around the world. This installation spans April through to June, 2015 and includes more than 50 articles relating to trust, identity, fraud and various government initiatives working to solve what is quickly becoming one of the biggest challenges in our global, digital economy - proving you are who you say you are in a purely online environment. To see how the issue of trust online is building please take a look through our previous timelines - May 2015 : Online Identity News Round Up November 2014 : Global Online Identity News Topics:Online Trust, Identity News, Identity Protection
15 Jul 2015
miiCard: miiCard joins the Digital ID and Authentication Council of Canada (DIACC) Wednesday, July 8th 2015 Empowering citizens with secure and trusted online identities is high on the priority list for many countries throughout the globe and we are really pleased to see the collaboration of government and enterprise taking off in many of the countries we operate. As such we are pleased to announce miiCard has joined the Digital ID and Authentication Council of Canada (DIACC), a nonprofit coalition of public and private sector leaders committed to developing a Canadian digital identification and authentication framework to enable Canadian citizens full and secure participation in the global digital economy. miiCard CEO James Varga said "The internet lacks, and always has, a layer of trust. As we continue to do more and more online, as the value of what we do continues to increase, the need to be able to create trust now more than ever is paramount." "Canadian households are connected to an ever-increasing number of online services. High trust services such as banking, Government programs, healthcare and communications are growing quickly and DIACC is strongly positioned to help shape the Canadian experience in the global digital economy. miiCard brings international experience in trusted online identities to the DIACC coalition. Working together, we can help to achieve the DIACC goals with: Consumer centric online identities founded on trust. privacy, control and convenience Greater levels of trust online, equivalent to physical checks to facilitate secure transactions Interoperability, cross-border solutions to scale a truly global trust ecosystem Aran Hamilton, DIACC President: We are excited to add miiCard to the growing DIACC family. The internet knows no borders, and connecting with international partners will help Canadians remain at the forefront of the online economy. About the Digital ID and Authentication Council of Canada (DIACC) Created as a result of the federal governments Task Force for the Payments System Review, the DIACC is a nonprofit coalition of public and private sector leaders committed to developing a Canadian digital identification and authentication framework to enable Canadians full and secure participation the global digital economy. DIACC members include representatives from both the federal and provincial levels of government as well as private sector leaders. The DIACCs objective is to unlock economic opportunities for Canadian consumers, and businesses by providing the framework to develop a robust, secure, scalable and privacy enhancing digital identification and authentication ecosystem that will decrease costs for governments, consumers, and business while improving service delivery and driving GDP growth. Visit DIACC here Topics:Online Trust, miiCard
08 Jul 2015