Edinburgh-based venture capital firm has already invested £10m in the region
Par Equity, an Edinburgh-based specialist in high-growth early-stage tech businesses, is increasing its support for cutting-edge companies in Northern Ireland to £20 million after a string of successful transactions.
Established in 2008, Par Equity has built a strong reputation for backing young, innovative companies in Northern Ireland, Scotland and England’s northeast and supporting them with its growing team of expert advisors.
The company, which has already invested £10 million in a range of successful early-stage companies including Datactics, Cumulus, Plotbox and TriVirum, said the additional funds would help ambitious local firms to develop new technologies and expand into new markets, unlock other forms of funding along the way.
Andrew Noble, partner at Par Equity, said:
“We’re hands-on investors at Par Equity and, together with our network of industry experts, we’re providing that much-needed business advice as well as the financial support. We’ve identified, and heavily backed, some excellent companies in Northern Ireland and we’re excited about unearthing new opportunities in the region over the next two or three years.”
Par Equity’s first major funding success in Northern Ireland was Belfast-based digital imaging analysis and software company PathXL in 2012. Since then, it has provided essential finance, direct support and management advice to some of the region’s most successful new companies.
In April 2021, Par Equity invested further in Trivirum, Plotbox and Datactics, leading investments rounds of up to £3.5 million. This included a £2 million investment round into data management specialist Datactics following on from its initial investment into the company in 2019. The Datactics investment round, which was supported by other existing investors, Kernel Capital and Clarendon, will see the company grow to beyond 50 employees and into profitability.
In addition to these three investments, Par Equity also provided a £1.1m bridging round in Belfast start-up Cumulus Neuroscience last year, leveraging a further £6 million of investment from the UK’s Dementia Discovery Fund.
The funds are being used to help Cumulus develop a new, industry-leading integrated physiological and biomarker platform that provides clinical trial data and AI-powered insights to accelerate the development of therapies for Alzheimer’s and other brain disorders.
Cumulus Neuroscience’s CEO, Ronan Cunningham, said:
“Great ideas can be the foundation of a great business, but without the necessary funding, the potential for growth will always be capped. We’re delighted that after just a few short years, we’ve secured the finance we need to accelerate our technology to market and address exciting new growth opportunities on the global stage.
Funding through Par Equity, the Dementia Discovery Fund, and other partners are helping us to scale-up quickly and establish ourselves as a market leader in our space.”
As one of the larger investors in Northern Ireland, Par Equity believes it can help fill a gap in the market and provide the scale of funding fast growth companies need to get to the next level, but which is not currently available through local financing options. In 2020, Par Equity appointed Ronnie Geddis as the chair of its investor network in Northern Ireland deepening its activity in the region.
“Like Scotland, we know that Northern Ireland businesses don’t always get their fair share of venture capital funding in the UK and that business often struggle to get that next level of funding they need to really scale up their operations,” said Ronnie Geddis.
As someone who has invested and been in receipt of investment in Northern Ireland, there is a clear role for Par Equity to bring its scale and expertise to Northern Ireland to help some of our most exciting businesses achieve the global success they deserve,” added Ronnie.
Par Equity has invested in more than 60 companies since it launched in 2008. Collectively, those companies have raised £266 million from investors.
Earlier this year, it secured three major awards at the UK Business Angel Investment Awards 2021, including Angel Group of the Year, Scale-up Team of the Year and Exit of the Year.
A panel of 37 judges reviewed the hundreds of nominations received across the 12 categories to select the leaders and trail blazers from the UK’s investment ecosystem.